#coronavirus Good news: the downtrend in Chinese-virus case-growth rates continues

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The good news is that in most of the countries we are tracking the downtrend in the growth rates of both confirmed cases and deaths continues. It is important that people should see this at the moment, because in many countries record numbers of cases and deaths are being recorded, and these large figures tend to conceal the good news.

For instance, in the United States, where a passivist confidently told me only last week that there would be only 10,000 deaths in total, there have been 19,000 deaths already, of which more than 2000 occurred only yesterday.

Some commenters are still trying to maintain, in the teeth of the evidence, that the Chinese virus is no worse than the annual flu, and that no excess deaths compared with the same week in previous years are occurring or will occur.

Even though the cumulative-case growth rates continue to decline, offering real hope that healthcare systems will not, after all, be overrun, there will be many more cases and many more deaths before this is over: therefore, making comparisons now between last year’s and this year’s death rates, for instance, will make the Chinese virus falsely appear less harmful than it will prove to be. Cumulative-case growth rates must fall close to zero (and self-evidently not to less than zero, as nodding Homer carelessly wrote yesterday) before we can feel confident that the worst is over.

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Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 14 to April 10, 2020. A link to the high-definition PowerPoint slides is at the end of this posting.

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Fig. 2. Mean compound daily growth rates in reported COVID-19 deaths for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 23 to April 10, 2020.

The compound daily growth rate of total confirmed cases throughout the world excluding China and occupied Tibet, where the data have been widely and justifiably criticized as unreliable, is running at 6.6%, and the daily growth rate in deaths, a lagging indicator, at 8.7%.

If cases were to continue to grow at 6.6% compound every day for a month, the 1.7 million cases reported to date would exceed 12 million; for two months 80 million. Note that this is not a prediction, for it is very likely that governments will continue their control measures at least for another month or two.

On the other hand, it is very likely that true cases of infection exceed reported cases, perhaps by 1-3 orders of magnitude. Until antibody testing becomes possible, we shall not know for sure.

Happy Easter to one and all, and keep safe.

Original slides here.

367 thoughts on “#coronavirus Good news: the downtrend in Chinese-virus case-growth rates continues

      • vuk

        did you see the interesting post yesterday, which, to summarise, pointed out that over 700 UK deaths are outstanding from up to 2 weeks ago for a variety of reasons. So whilst the overall deaths total may be correct-albeit with a lag-many of those deaths that occurred some time ago are added to current figures once they are notified. So it may well be that the curve has started bending but the old data is disguising it.

        tonyb

          • John

            Someone on that tweet you reference makes the very good point that it seems that at present you can’t die of anything but CV

            Tony

          • Tonyb April 11, 2020 at 2:04 pm

            John

            The link to the spreadsheet is just decipherable at the foot of the documentt

            Tonyb

            I know but I can’t locate that specific spreadsheet. All the daily spreadsheets are available but none include the data revisions shown in the Twitter image.

        • Hi Tony
          I don’t think we will ever known. The CV would be a lousy bio-weapon, but as mean of an economic warfare it is as yet unprecedented.

          • Not so sir! Military duties invariably require close contact. One carrier has been knocked out of service and a second reports a number.

            In many ways, the Chinese virus is an effective weapon. We are fortunate that many ships and subs at sea were not infected.

            While our fleet ballistic sub and land based ICBM nuclear deterrence remain intact, out ability to project conventional sea power is diminished. There are likely many more military infections than the Pentagon is admitting to.

            Military might is a product of economic strength and right now the economy sucks.

            Five-years from now may have been a different story. Fortunately, China lack the military chop is take on Tiawan; even if we sat on the side lines.

        • The old time of observation routine, possibly. They didn’t know how to count two weeks ago.

          Next come the adjustments and models to correct previous counts.

        • In response to Tonyb, the death curve has indeed “started bending” in the UK: as the death graph in the head posting shows, the compound daily rate of increase in deaths is falling, as it is in most of the countries monitored on the graph.

          However, his suggestion that “at present it seems you can’t die of anything but” the Chinese virus requires qualification. Since the acute respiratory interference caused by the virus in critical cases is very nearly always the proximate cause of death, rather than the comorbidities, it is correct in those cases to report that the Chinese virus was the cause of death – that the victim died of the virus and not merely with it.

          • Until a significant portion of country’s population has been infected by this virus none of the data means anything. The only thing that has been done is sequestered the most at risk groups; has this population group been exposed to any sort of viral load that would trigger an immune but not too much of a viral load as to push them over the edge.

            This is the problem of going to hospital during a pandemic. The air at a hospital probably has the highest viral concentration load. If you actually want to get sick go to a hospital.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6289022/

            Is air quality even thought of in a hospital setting?
            Do hospitals change the exchange rate of fresh air with the infected air?
            Do hospitals treat the air within their HVAC systems with HEPA filtering and UV?
            Would an open air, exposed to the sun, field hospitals be a better solution?
            Should hospitals be built with HVAC systems that could be adjusted to reduce the viral loads?
            Do hospitals even monitor the viral loading the or viable particulate count in real time?

      • Vuk. Your figures for new cases include numbers derived in a totally different way (from Worldometer): NOTE: UK Government: “Today’s figures for positive tests have been adjusted to include positive case results from swab testing for key workers and their households. The figures would have been 5,195, rather than 8681 should on your graph. In which case it would seem the new cases are levelling off in the same way the deaths are.

        • Correct, Worldometer uses the ONS data which includes anyone tested or for the deceased anyone with death certificate having in one out of two or both entries as ‘Covid-19’. Government official data is only for the people who were admitted in a hospital and tested positive for CV. French do the same as do many other countries, this is for the comparison purpose of ‘like for like’ used by scientists and modellers.
          Ergo, two sets of data are substantially different, and should not be mixed up.

        • My initial comment when Vuk started putting up these graphs was that I did not even bother plotting UK data because their data collection is such a disorganised, anarchic mess and if you start plotting it you are already starting to believe means somthing, even if you try to bear it in mind.

          This only seems to confirm that opinion.

          I understand that anyone in the UK may think that mess is the best they’ve got, but I’ve run out of salt right now.

        • Aha, it’s as I thought. As they extend testing out to “key workers” (by which, I assume they mean anyone who has contact with sick people), the ratio of positive tests to all tests over the whole course of the epidemic goes up. Hardly surprising – these people have had well above average exposure to the virus. The tests added today have produced just about the same ratio as yesterday. Once both that figure and the daily new cases start going down, we should be in shape to think about relaxing regulations.

      • Cumulative-case growth rates must fall close to zero (and self-evidently not to less than zero, as nodding Homer carelessly wrote yesterday) before we can feel confident that the worst is over.

        Homer is still nodding, apparently. By the time the growth rate of the cumulative total of cases is close to zero the epidemic has totally run its course in terms of infection. There remains just the lingering number of patients still under case, a significant proportion of whom will die by current care standards.

        We will know well before that that “the worst is over” , however, it does not seem that the indefatigable viscount will have caught up on the maths by then.

        Why he is being given this much space for his error ridden attempts is a mystery.

        I suppose these articles at least provide a peg on which we can hang out coats and keep each other informed.

        • Mr Goodman, as usual, has nothing constructive to offer. Whether he likes it or not – and it seems that he does not – the daily compound growth rates in new cases and in deaths are falling ever closer to zero.

          And the reason why these pieces are given space is that they provide hope for those wanting an end to lockdowns, because, even as discouragingly large numbers of deaths as well as new cases are reported in some of the worst-affected countries, showing the decline in the daily compound growth rates is the standard metric used by public-health authorities – and increasingly cited in the UK news media – because it is that compound rate, more than any other number, that determines the likely future course of a pandemic.

          One might argue that three-day smoothing rather than seven-day smoothing should be used, but here seven-day smoothing is used so as to iron out reporting anomalies caused by weekends.

          It may be that Mr Goodman is disappointed at the visible evidence from the graphs that those countries that were affected first and worst by the Chinese Virus are beginning to get on top of it, but those who care for their fellow-men will be delighted.

    • Alarmists propaganda uses the same technique of reporting absolute numbers to make a tiny fraction of a much larger number seem far more significant than it would be when presented in the proper context. ExaJoules anyone?

      • “COPID-19 causes of death are scary, but less than 20 of the other major causes of deaths in 2020. ”

        One caveat is that the other causes of death usually aren’t accompanied with the visual images of reefer trucks behind hospitals and mass graves. Last time I dealt with reefer trucks was one reserved for dead wildlife at the Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife facility on Grand Isle following the MC252 Gulf oil spill.

        • Reefer trucks are not a metric of the total number of casualties but rather of the (short) time period in which those casualties occurred.
          Crucial distinction

    • Mr Stein has not read the head posting. The numbers of cases and deaths attributable to the Chinese virus worldwide will continue to rise significantly in the coming weeks. The compound daily case growth rates are still far too high for comfort, though they are trending in the right direction. So it is futile to say at this stage that not many have died and that, therefore, the Chinese virus is a non-event that governments could have ignored.

      Governments were rightly unwilling to allow health services to be swamped. With lockdowns, they bought themselves time to prevent that unhappy situation, and have been largely successful. Once it becomes clear that there is no longer the real threat of healthcare breakdown and consequent societal collapse that the Imperial College researchers foresaw, the lockdowns can be – and will be – progressively dismantled.

      But let us have no more of this nonsense about how few the deaths to date have been compared with all other causes of death. Just wait and see. Already, as I reported yesterday, the week-by-week excess mortality figures in the half-dozen European countries most affected by the Chinese virus are high, and the statisticians are attributing the excess deaths chiefly to the Chinese virus.

      • . . . and the statisticians are attributing the excess deaths chiefly to the Chinese virus.

        “Chiefly”? Does that mean these countries are doing what the US appears to be doing:

        “‘There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,’ she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. ‘Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.

        ‘The intent is … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that,’ she added.”

        https://www.foxnews.com/politics/birx-says-government-is-classifying-all-deaths-of-patients-with-coronavirus-as-covid-19-deaths-regardless-of-cause

        • In response to sycomputing, one of the many defects of the lamentable, costly, corrupt Chinese-communist poodle that is the World Death Organization is that it has failed to develop or promulgate reporting standards that facilitate direct comparison between countries.

          If he will go to Euromomo, he will find that the heavy excess mortality in the past week or two in the European countries most affected by the Chinese virus is attributed chiefly to the pandemic.

          • . . . the World Death Organization . . . has failed to develop or promulgate reporting standards . . .

            Surely reasonable governments wouldn’t rely on the WDO for reporting standards on how one died from a particular disease? Or do they? How difficult would it be to determine if an individual died from COVID-19 or not? If the European authorities cannot determine the cause of death, why assume COVID-19 as the US government appears to be doing?

            . . . the heavy excess mortality . . . is attributed chiefly to the pandemic.

            I don’t doubt you, but that wasn’t my question. If I understand Dr. Birx correctly, The US appears to be including in our mortality rates COVID-19 as a cause of death merely as a function of being infected at the time of death. Sometimes not even that much (emphasis added):

            “‘The intent is … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that,’ she added.

            Asked whether the numbers could skew data the government is trying to collect, Birx said that would mostly apply more to rural areas where testing isn’t being implemented on a wide scale.”

            If “testing isn’t being implemented on a wide scale,” then how is it reasonable to apply COVID-19 as a cause of death when you haven’t tested for it?

            Which goes back to my original question, if you know. Is this what the EU is doing as well?

        • If we used sycomputing logic, Australia would be out of lockdown because we have had less than 59 deaths for 6000 infections the most we could have over reported was 59.

          I am guessing it perplexes sycomputing why Australia would be in full lockdown and yes more than 59 people die of the flu each year 🙂

          • If we used sycomputing logic . . .

            Thanks LdB for pointing out the illogic of my logic. Just one more question – could you point me to where I used my logic to illogically conclude the particular conclusion you’re suggesting I deduced illogically?

            I just want to take notes so I don’t make the same (embarrassing) mistake again. You know, making those ghost deductions illogically from questions about data that had nothing to do with forming conclusions. At least not yet anyway.

            Thanks for your help buddy!

          • No your argument/view is perfectly logical I had no trouble following it. The only time you will see me use the word illogical is if point A doesn’t follow to point B.

            You posed the question reasonable governments would/should not rely on the statistics because they are wrong they need wide spread testing.

            My counter is Australia has done neither of those it has only done very specific targeted testing (we have had test shortages) and we can’t really inflate the figures … if you like take the 59 away.

            So straight question …. Australia clearly hasn’t done either of those two things so do you understand why we would lock the country down?

          • No your argument/view is perfectly logical I had no trouble following it.

            Well that’s certainly a relief, LdB. Now if only I knew about that which I’d successfully argued! 🙂

            You posed the question reasonable governments would/should not rely on the statistics because they are wrong they need wide spread testing.

            Well technically speaking, while I did ask the question re: stats and testing that was after you’d already identified the first argument you argued I’d argued. At least both of them were sound I take it. That’s a good thing.

            So straight question …. Australia clearly hasn’t done either of those two things so do you understand why we would lock the country down?

            Well let me see if I can work this out. Is it because: “Australia has . . . only done very specific targeted testing (we have had test shortages) . . . “?

            Is that the right answer???

      • I understand your argumentation.

        However, facts are stubborn things and what is becoming increasingly evident from observing empirical data from a spectrum of countries, ranging by way of example from Canada to France, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, is that there is no across the board demonstrable correlation, let alone causal relationship, showing that confinement has a measurable impact on the four most important epidemiological output metrics (dixit my former spouse, MD, paediatric ICU and lung specialist), to wit:
        number of ICU admissions; acceleration/deceleration of said number of admissions; number of deaths per million and acceleration/deceleration of said number of deaths.
        These are the only metrics that tell us what is actually unfolding.

        Noted in passing that all other purportedly important metrics such as testing and number of reported cases are dangerously meaningless in the absence of quality data on in particular asymptomatic carriers – making it impossible to establish the denominator.
        Which, also noted in passing, detracts from your argument that we should not question the government sponsored narrative that this virus is by far more lethal than the seasonal flu – until we understand the denominator, your guess in the matter is as educated as mine.

        BTW: in a little noted article in the NEJM, in March, none other than Fauci, (et. al.) argued that when all is said and done, it is not unreasonable to expect to find that this Wuhan virus has the same lethality as the seasonal flu varieties.

        • In response to tetris, there is considerable hard evidence that lockdowns work. One begins by noting the reason for lockdowns. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the overarching reasons were 1) that in the weeks before the lockdown the daily compound growth rate in cumulative cases was 25%; 2) that in the absence of a reliable antibody test it was not possible to determine the rate at which the general population was acquiring immunity; 3) that therefore there was insufficient evidence to allow the assumption that a sufficient general immunity had occurred to bend the curve away from the exponential towards the logistic; and 4) that, in the absence of that evidence, healthcare systems would be overrun with critical-care patients unless emergency interventions were introduced.

          There is now compelling evidence that the lockdowns work, because cellphone data allow quite a reliable estimate of the person-to-person contact rate, which has fallen in the UK by some 85-95% as a result of the lockdown. Like it or not, this sharp a reduction has a material and direct influence in reducing transmission of the pathogen.

          • “2) that in the absence of a reliable antibody test it was not possible to determine the rate at which the general population was acquiring immunity; 3) that therefore there was insufficient evidence to allow the assumption that a sufficient general immunity had occurred to bend the curve away from the exponential towards the logistic; ”

            This is the nut of the problem with the lockdowns; no immunity is being formulated within the general population. A mechanism of immunity that evolution has seen fit to give us.

            The healthcare system will continue to be at risk of collapse until such time as the population gains a natural immunity ( the quicker path and not happening ) or a vaccine ( slower path; more people will die ). The lockdowns are only keeping the at risk population alive until a vaccine is made; THEY WILL DIE, PERIOD; lots of them will start to die outside of the virus while waiting on vaccine due to the same social distancing and societal collapse about to start.

            It is beyond maddening that you cannot or will not see the cause and effect.

            Sure the death rates are down; the hospitalizations are down; this is an airborne pathogen and cannot be contained by definition; this is “called bending the curve”, “slow the spread”; “mitigate the transmission”. None of these will STOP the virus. Only large scale immunity will and we cannot wait for a vaccine that may never come for a virus that will and probably has already mutated when nature/evolution has given us a path forward.

            Historically, how did all these other virus burn themselves out without even the possibility of human created vaccine?

          • re: “This is the nut of the problem with the lockdowns; no immunity is being formulated within the general population. A mechanism of immunity that evolution has seen fit to give us.”

            We are still meeting in grocery stores, and those families with kids are assured of exposure too as the kids will inter-mingle discarding any notion of a “lock down”. I see this last part in my neighborhood. Kids are great at distributing (bringing it home, and exporting) contagion …

          • JEHill, they will not die if there are adequate medicines available to treat them.
            Lockdown is to buy time and not just for Health System overload.

  1. Rather than comparison with the same week last year, a more appropriate comparison would be to a bad flu year. For example in the UK in the winter of 2017-18, flu led to excess winter deaths of 49,410 people, including single weeks with over 6,000 excess deaths.

    The total number of deaths attributed to CV in the UK is currently 9,875, with 5,562 in the last week. To match 2017-18, deaths would have to continue at a similar level for another 7 or 8 weeks. Even somewhat pessimistic models (eg IHME) don’t envisage that.

    Also, the question of whether all these deaths attributed to CV are”extra” to the usual figures will have to wait for the calculation of excess death figures.

      • That does not necessarily have much to do with the virus itself, but rather with the chain reaction it sets in motion exacerbating underlying conditions, in a good number of cases triggering a cytokine shock

    • Mr Anthony fails to make allowance for the fact that with a firmish lockdown in place the numbers infected with the Chinese virus are a whole lot less than they would have been with it.

      And in half a dozen European countries the excess mortality figures for week 14 of this year are already well above average, even with lockdowns in all the countries most adversely affected.

      It is important to take a balanced view, and to try to discern the truth objectively.

      • Monckton, sorry but you cannot say: “Mr Anthony fails to make allowance for the fact that with a firmish lockdown in place the numbers infected with the Chinese virus are a whole lot less than they would have been with it.”

        You have no evidence for that. If most were infected before the lockdown, then there may have been little or no effect. Or if the majority of the susceptible population were already in the health system then the lockdown would have little impact.

        Now the lockdown is in place there is a powerful incentive to make it seem that that it was worthwhile. The people with the access to the data are those with the most incentive – which bodes badly for the speedy release of truthful statistics. Furthermore, there may have been a way to reduce the deaths by a change in treatment – for instance the success of quinine, and other readily available products.

        So while I agree with most of what you say, and I appreciate the interesting and comprehensive approach you make to the evidence. I must say that in this respect you are overreaching the evidence by a long way, and would be best off taking your own advice about rational argument.

        • Mr Willis, like some other commenters here, appears unfamiliar with how and why lockdowns work, so I shall outline the mathematics briefly again.

          To establish the mean rate at which a pathogen is being transmitted, during the early stages of the pandemic before enough people have been infected to turn the exponential curve towards the logistic curve, one needs to know two things – how infectious the pathogen is and the mean person-to-person contact rate. The former figure, in the absence of a proven and widely-adopted prophylactic, palliative or cure, is dependent not only upon the ease with which the pathogen jumps from host to host but also on general standards of hygiene and sometimes, to some extent, on the weather.

          The latter figure, which varies not only from country to country but from place to place, is chiefly dependent upon population density, in the absence of control measures.

          With control measures, standards of hygiene improve, reducing the infectivity of the pathogen, and the mean person-to-person contact rate falls. According to data from cellphone companies – one of the best ways of obtaining evidence on the contact rate in those countries with near-universal access to cellphones – the contact rate has fallen by some 85-95%. These data are the chief reason why the modelers who had originally and rightly projected very high infection and mortality rates over timescales short enough to overload and swamp healthcare systems and hospitals are now projecting a far less unmanageable timetable over the short to medium term.

          Once the exponential curve has been sufficiently interfered with by control measures – and the lockdown benchmark tests show very clearly that that is happening – it becomes possible to relax the lockdowns in an orderly fashion. In an earlier article I outlined a typical endgame in some detail, shortly before academic researchers began to outline very similar proposed measures. Briefly, where a pathogen is shown to be fatal only to a definable segment of the population (in the present instance, the elderly and those with particular comorbidities), they can continue to be isolated, while those who are younger and fitter can be allowed once again to mingle (though avoiding large gatherings, particularly in confined spaces), and most businesses can be restarted, with a few sensible precautions again chiefly in relation to confined spaces.

          Of course, if some of the numerous clinical trials now in progress show that new or pre-existing medications are efficacious and do not have side-effects that overwhelm the benefits, lockdowns can be and will be brought to an end much faster. But Dr Fauci is right that one cannot make policy on the assumption that such medications work until there is proper evidence that they do. However, it remains the right of any physician to prescribe hydroxychloroquinone, for instance (which this website was among the earliest to identify as potentially beneficial) under the officinal formula that dates back to Hippocrates: if the qualified physician considers that, in a particular patient, the medication will do more good than harm, he is entitled to prescribe that medication even if its use in that patient is off-label.

          Therefore, I am not “overreaching the evidence by a long way”. Inevitably, in these relatively short postings, I am only able to present a small fraction of the evidence, but, for the reasons I have explained, we not only expect from the mathematics that in the short term lockdowns will work to keep the number of serious cases small enough to allow healthcare systems to operate effectively, but we know from the cellphone data – and can see from the graphs – that they are working.

      • Mr Anthony fails to make allowance for the fact that with a firmish lockdown in place the numbers infected with the Chinese virus are a whole lot less than they would have been with it.

        Pardon?
        Have you left out out perchance?

      • I’m just pointing out that, whereas ~50,000 excess deaths in 2017/18 passed without notice, ~10,000 deaths so far in 2020 have led to society being put into a coma.

        I didn’t mention the number of infections as there isn’t currently any reliable data, as you acknowledged in your post.

        I think you’re missing the point when you compare current mortality rates in European countries with “average” rates for this time of year. I don’t think many people are claiming that current mortality rates are “average”. A much better comparison is with a bad flu year. When you compare, say, recent Italian rates with their worst recent flu year, you’ll see that the current numbers aren’t exceptional.

        • Mr Anthony here makes a mistake common among some commenters: he compares the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths after lockdowns with flu numbers in previous years, finds that the confirmed cases and deaths are not particularly unusual, and concludes that the lockdowns were not necessary.

          However, the mathematics as well as the logic are against any such petitio principii. In the three weeks before Mr Trump declared a national emergency, the daily compound growth rate in total confirmed cases – the cases which, before widespread testing was available, were more likely to be serious enough to require hospitalization – was 20% in the world outside China and occupied tibet, where the numbers hadbecome unreliable.

          Governments could not, at that point, have assumed – in the absence of antibody tests, which are still not available, that enough people had become infected to reduce the population of susceptibles sufficiently to end the exponential phase of the pandemic and move towards the logistic curve. That is why governments – particularly those where cities or towns had higher population densities and thus person-to-person contact rates – found themselves compelled to introduce lockdowns.

          For instance, the population density in London is four times that in Stockholm. Therefore, in London a lockdown was essential, whereas – on the evidence to date, at any rate – in Stockholm less intrusive measures could be gotten away with.

          Either way, the growth rate in Chinese-virus infections, before widespread use of control measures was made, was very much greater than for the annual flu; the victims more often required intensive care; they required more advanced intensive care than for typical viral pneumonias; and they required it for longer.

          I hope that this note and my previous answer to Mr Anthony upthread will help him to understand why HM Government, for one, albeit with proper reluctance and a lot later than it should have done, took the decision to impose a lockdown, and also to understand something of how and when it will become possible to unwind the lockdowns.

          • In response to an earlier post of yours comparing London and Stockholm populations densities, I pointed out that the population density of Greater London (4,542 per sq km) was slightly less than that of Stockholm (4,800 per sq km). In a spirit of charity I assume that you haven’t read that since you now say “the population density in London is four times that in Stockholm.”

            If your views depend on this wrong assumption, perhaps you should reconsider.

            Also, you say that the UK’s government had to take the decision to lock-down because of the evidence available at that time. This isn’t so in several ways.

            First, the evidence at that time from China and elsewhere was that mortality was greatest (by a factor of ~100 or so compared to young people) among very old and otherwise vulnerable people. The obvious response to such a situation is to isolate and protect such people while the rest to society continues to function, in part so as to be able to support those at risk.

            Second, the lock-down of society is, at best, exchanging lives lost now for a very likely much larger number of lives lost later due to the economic damage. The decision to lock-down has set the value of those”hidden” future deaths very much lower than those due to CV.

            Third, the government’s decision was prompted largely by the results of a single, unverified, unreleased model. No attempt was apparently made to get second, third or fourth opinions before taking what may be the most far-reaching decision taken by a government since WWII.

            You correctly say that the particularities of the infection would have led to great demands on the NHS if it had been left unchecked. This is however I think the only substantive argument in favour of the lock-down and it could have been met by a combination of protecting vulnerable and old people via isolation and an intensive effort to provide the necessary medical facilities.

        • Hey Simon.

          It’s not very hard to understand. Italy (your example) current deaths happened during, quarantines, lockdown and still crashed their healthcare/is still killing. Tell me about all the steps they went through during the bad flu year, as they attempted to mitigate it’s outcome.

          • @Olof

            Possibly unwittingly, you make my point for me. No steps were taken to lock-down society in Italy in 2014/15 when significantly more people died from flu than have so far died from CV. Despite that death toll, no one seems to have thought it necessary to even consider taking such steps. No one beyond immediate families and friends (and later researchers into excess mortality) seems to have particularly paid any attention to the deaths of a much greater number of people than those whose deaths have recently been attributed to CV.

            If it makes sense to shut down society for the sake of CV, then, for the sake of consistency, on the basis of the mortality risk, society should also be shut down every time there’s a flu outbreak. I don’t think, on the available evidence, that a shut-down is justified in either case.

      • As I noted above, facts are stubborn things, and I might add, reality a merciless mistress.

        And reality is that lockdowns, confinement or whatever current politically correct moniker one chooses, are not an actual solution.

        Solving a problem by putting one’s head underwater, effectively ”unsolving” it when you have to come up for air, is not a solution.

        Reality is also, that absent demonstrable herd immunity, a credible vaccine or other frontline mass antidote, the lockdown “solution” is no solution, but in effect no more than a stay of execution.

        Other than to die hard believers in government advisory circles- witness France- it is likely already dawning on a broad segment of the great unwashed, that in terms of their socio-economic well-being, the lockdown/confinement cure is fast becoming a far greater disaster than the disease.

        • “Solving a problem by putting one’s head underwater, effectively ”unsolving” it when you have to come up for air”

          It is if there is burning oil on the water’s surface, think WW2, many people did so.

    • Simon

      Some weeks ago I happened to see the UK govt stats and I believe it was week commencing 5th January 2015 when there were 15000 deaths in that week. The 2014/15 flu epidemic was substantially worse than the 2017 one, with up to 40000 deaths and together with the bad 2017 one meant that our average annual deaths from flu for the last 5 years is running at 17000

      That must be put against the perspective of some 600,000 deaths annually in the UK of which some 140,000 are said to ‘avoidable’

      tonyb

    • > For example in the UK in the winter of 2017-18, flu led to excess winter deaths of 49,410 people

      Just thinking out loud … I wonder if the number of flu deaths next year could be reduced by the wearing of masks, in appropriate circumstances ?

      • Bob

        I have made the point many times that with an average of 17000 flu deaths over each of the last five years, with two of those years at least double that figure, then there is a good case for making vaccinations and masks mandatory.

        Quite why we have gone overboard on cv but have neglected the dreadful annual toll of flu deaths is a question that needs to be asked, as the latter is cumulatively worse and has been tolerated without crashing the economy and removing our freedoms.

        Perhaps a combination of an imperial report that spooked the govt and that this has been elevated to the worlds first social media driven pandemic probably explains the attention this virus has achieved.

        Tonyb

        • Mr Anthony and tonyb make the commonest of all epidemiological mistakes: they assume that without lockdowns the excess deaths from the Chinese virus would have been no greater than in a baddish year for flu: and, worse, they cite the case numbers and deaths some weeks after the lockdowns have been introduced, making no allowance for how much higher those numbers would have been, and how much higher still they would have become, had the lockdowns not been introduced.

          However, given the known 20% mean daily compound growth rate in total confirmed cases that prevailed worldwide outside China and occupied Tibet in the three weeks preceding Mr Trump’s announcement of a national emergency, and given that no serological test for antibodies was (or is) yet available, and given that, therefore, it could not be safely assumed that enough people had become infected to reduce the remaining susceptible population and hence slow the rate of transmission in accordance with the logistic curve, governments with high urban population densities would have been flagrantly irresponsible if they had not introduced lockdowns.

    • For example in the UK in the winter of 2017-18, flu led to excess winter deaths of 49,410 people, including single weeks with over 6,000 excess deaths.

      Do you have a link to these figures.

      As far as I’m aware, 2014-15 was the most recent year with a particularly high flu mortality. There were about 28k flu related deaths.

    • And don’t forget the impact of the influenza vaccine. If it were not for the vaccine, deaths would be as much as ~20%+ higher. The 2017-2018 “flu” year would have been much deadlier. When we are comparing those collection of viruses against COVID-19, that notion fails to get mentioned.

      • Mr Bidwell makes an excellent point: that we have vaccines against flu, but we do not have vaccines against the Chinese virus. A further point is that there is a general population immunity against flu, most of whose strains are similar enough to one another for that immunity to be widely efficacious in most years, but the Chinese virus is too new for that.

    • Yes, but those numbers for the normal winter flu didn’t occur during a lockdown.

      If you really want to compare the normal flu with Covid-19 you would have to know what the numbers infected and dead would have been without the drastic precautionary measures we currently have in place and over the space of a full season.

      These ridiculous arguments against the lockdown dismay me on a site like WUWT where most posters take pride in the scientific rational approach normally presented here.

      If you want to see what this virus would have done without the measures currently in place then have at it but stop these absurd comparisons with the common flu and every other ailment known to man.

      Nothing, I repeat nothing, has overrun western healthcare systems for as long as I’ve been alive. Except for this virus in the countries that were slow to react and put precautionary measures in place.

      Thankfully I live in Australia, where reaction was reasonably swift and now as a result we are in reasonably good shape.

      • Yeah I am a bit the same and like you in Australia and very happy to be here given what we see elsewhere. We have bought time to run the BCG trial and a see if a vaccine can be developed or at least plan for how we go forward.

        I used to point out absurd arguments but I notice you get a very hostile reaction by some because they seem to have adopted the cause like a religion, rather than a clear argument of facts. basically you end up just ignoring the same rehashed trash and learn to skim thru it.

        I am sure Australia being in full lockdown for 59 deaths must perplex some of the posters here given they think the raw numbers are everything.

      • Mr Williams eloquently makes the central point that needs to be made: comparisons with pre-existing ailments at this stage are absurd, futile, misleading and meaningless.

        • Yes and given the UK deathtoll and hospital images I find it quite offensive. For so many people to have to die alone with no family around them is the most haunting part.

  2. “…most of the countries we are tracking the downtrend in the growth rates of both confirmed cases and deaths…”

    MOST countries don’t have trends to downwell or upwell.

    This is definitely a first world problem. (Al Yankovich)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwvlbJ0h35A

    WHO data shows that the top twenty countries (out of 230) based on number of cases comprise 87.2% of those global cases and 94.7% of the deaths.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_outbreak

    That is NOT a “global” pandemic.

    Too fat, too much smoking, too old, too sick, too packed together in nursing homes. Problems only rich, soft, lazy first world countries can afford.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8209299/Coronavirus-know-JOHN-NAISH-analyses-findings-worlds-best-brains.html

    First step in any solution is correctly identifying the problem.

    • “First step in any solution is correctly identifying the problem.”

      BigPharm and its toadies will do everything it can to keep that from happening.

    • Nick, anybody who quotes both Weird Al Yankovich and the WHO in the same comment is definitely ___________________________ (fill in the blank area).

    • Mr Schroeder is, as usual, wrong about everything.

      All countries who are reporting cases and deaths, except those with very few of either, are displaying trends. Unfortunately, if those countries are largely poor, and packed together in cities, and lacking in the ability to enforce control measures, the death rate could yet prove to be very high.

      It is, therefore, far too early to declare that the Chinese virus is a “first-world problem”.

      Mr Schroeder appears to imagine that fat people are at significantly greater risk from the Chinese virus than thin ones. However, the evidence from the first batch of intensive-care cases in the UK, reported here a couple of days ago, is that body-mass index is not a significant additional risk factor, except in the morbidly obese.

      And Mr Schroeder is incorrect to say that this is not a global pandemic. The World Death Organization, which he quotes with approval when it suits his argument but ignores when it doesn’t, calls this a global pandemic – and that’s quite a change of stance from when the human-rights criminal Ghebreyesus was telling everyone there was no need to impose bans on travel from China. Some 210 countries and territories worldwide now have at least one case. Looks pretty global on the figures, then.

      Mr Schroeder should not make the elementary mistake of assuming that because the virus reached some countries later than others the small numbers in those countries will continue to be small. One may hope and pray that they may continue to be small, but if one is a responsible government one must prepare for the worst. Expect numbers in India, in particular, to start to climb very rapidly from here on.

      Now that the Western countries, though control measures, have gotten their own house in order, we are going to have to think how we can help those countries – far less able to handle pandemics than we – who are about to see the virus spreading rapidly. Let us pray that sunshine and heat in many of these countries will prevent the more rapid spread that we saw before the lockdowns here in the colder West. But let us prepare in case the initial Chinese reports that their virus is not particularly susceptible to warmer weather prove to have been correct.

      Smoking is indeed a very serious co-factor making an infection with the Chinese virus much worse than it would otherwise be. But sales of cigarettes per head of population are these days rather higher in third-world countries than in first-world countries, where most people now have the common sense not to smoke.

      As for crowding into cities, this is no less a third-world than a first-world problem, and it is indeed a contributor to the more rapid spread of this species of coronavirus, because the mean person-to-person contact rate is naturally a lot higher where people are piled into high-rise cities or crammed into very close proximity, as they are in Bangladesh or the south-east of England.

      Mr Schroeder says the first step in any solution is correctly identifying the problem. On the evidence of this and several previous similarly ill-informed postings by him, the first step in any solution is being willing to set one’s own futile prejudices aside and start taking a great deal of trouble to acquaint oneself properly with the facts.

      • And further, it would be very interesting to compare cholesterol levels of those cases over 60, who was asymptomatic, who recovered and who succumbed, in light of this study.

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160627095006.htm

        “Diamond also points out the research that suggests that high cholesterol may be protective against diseases which are common in the elderly. For example, high levels of cholesterol are associated with a lower rate of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies have suggested that high LDL-C may protect against some often fatal diseases, such as cancer and infectious diseases, and that having low LDL-C may increase one’s susceptibility to these diseases.”

        • DavidF makes an excellent point about high cholesterol among the elderly. When I was first diagnosed as having diabetes a couple of years ago, I was given a stern lecture by the diabetes nurse, who said that my LDL cholesterol, which she called “bad”, was too high. I pointed out to her the growing number of clinical trials and meta-analyses demonstrating that high cholesterol, including high LDL cholesterol, was beneficial to the elderly, and that it was only the VLDL cholesterol – not even measured separately in the standard British cholesterol tests – that was harmful if it was elevated.

          Therefore, I said, I was rejecting her advice to lower my cholesterol and to reduce my intake of fat. I increased my intake of fat, greatly cut down my intake of carbohydrates (the true chief cause of diabetes) and eradicated diabetes altogether within six months, and without any medication. It has shown no sign of recurrence.

      • What is the matter with you? You’re babysitting the thread like an hysterical schoolmarm and certainly aren’t acting like a Lord. There is a palpable sense of power-drunkenness in the CoronaPanic brigade that is noticeably absent from the critical, impassioned, but nevertheless rational analyses of the skeptics.

        • I do not know which country Mr Dasein comes from, but in most countries of the Commonwealth and in the United States there is freedom of speech. Whether he likes it or not, I am entitled to have my say. He is not obliged to read it, if he can read, though he would learn much if he could and would. So he should stop whining and go and get a life.

          • Pardon Sir,
            It looks to me like Britain has something more akin to approved speech, rather than free speech. Social media giants, et al, are trying their best to make that the norm here in the US and elsewhere, as well.
            Power and control of others is the end game and those who have it are increasing their share of it. Some things never change.

    • Nick

      The ‘Woke’ world of just a few weeks ago would have castigated you for your logical explanation, so add to your list a willingness to ignore those causes and a desire to shut down debate on obvious reasons for poor health

      Tonyb

    • “Some commenters are still trying to maintain, in the teeth of the evidence, that the Chinese virus is no worse than the annual flu, and that no excess deaths compared with the same week in previous years are occurring or will occur.”

      If this virus was a one off, why is there no separate peak in the death rates? In WV, USA we had a lot of illness and related deaths in Jan/ Feb and we were done. Nothing happening now at all. Two weeks after my Chinese students got back from their Christmas vacation, I got a really bad flu and my wife a week later. It knocked us on our asses, the worst we had ever had (and I had the flu vaccine, for what it was worth). A lot of people were sick here in late January and February. Nothing since then. Just because they did not start testing for C-19 until later does not mean that it has not already been through here.

      One could say that, with the increasing availability of tests, we have an epidemic of testing, and, oh my, we are finding it everywhere we test. Wow.

      As the first cases in China were in late October, it is reasonable to believe that it was well into the US by the end of December, duh. We have a set of undefined tests that detect for coronaviruses and are not specific for C-19, thus we get huge numbers of positives in people who are asymptomatic, which makes no sense, as it takes time for a person to mount an immune response, which would rarely be before the virus had time to replicate enough to elicit a response. It makes no sense. [Only the time-consuming CDC test uses PCR and might be specific for C-19, but the CDC released it before proper verification.]

      That means that the increasingly quick tests are not testing for C-19 at all, just coronaviruses in general and, as they are an environmental part of humans throughout the year at varying levels, we are just detecting background level variations. Truly bad science, but many people are ignoring the fact that the numbers make no sense and buying into the media hype, with people slipping in “pandemic” and “indiscriminate killer” whenever they can, which it is not.

      The flu season is a pandemic. As a salad of flu and coronaviruses, it is a more even phenomenon in the warm climes, which is why you see a broader curve, and more seasonal in colder climes, where we change our social habits with the temperature, crowding indoors, and thus we see a shorter higher curve, as we did here in WV.

      The C-19 death count has been inflated by encouraging C-19 death attributions by symptoms only, deaths with serious critical conditions with C-19 as C-19 deaths, and even deaths presumptively attributed. Regardless, the fact is that if we did not have a “test” that supposedly detected a specific “terrible” virus, the deaths from this flu season would not make the news. It would not even be a blip in the data. However, we cannot see the forest for the “tree” and are focused on one virus that we assume is the culprit while it is entirely possible for a person to have multiple viruses at a time and it is impossible to determine which one is causing the critical problem.

      Fingering the perpetrator of a crime in a crowd just because he is the only person in the crowd whose name you know is really a poor strategy.

      • Mr Higley is confused. The reason why lockdowns were introduced is that healthcare systems were in danger of being overrun. He has made the same mistake as many other commenters here: he has looked at the fortunately far smaller numbers of infections and deaths following the lockdowns than there would have been without them, and has assumed that these smaller numbers have nothing to do with the lockdowns. That is a circular argument.

        And, since the Chinese virus causes very severe symptoms in those who require intensive care, so that they require costlier and more advanced care than victims of previously-known viral pneumonias, and they require that care for longer, it was necessary for governments, particularly where they had urban population densities higher than average, to take precautions against their hospitals being overwhelmed.

        In Britain, we have built critical-care hospitals in most major urban centers to make sure that we have enough beds to treat everyone. So far, that is working, and, now that the lockdowns are working well, it looks as though we shall avoid the complete healthcare collapse that would otherwise have been very likely.

  3. There are more deaths in the U.S. than I thought there would be by about a factor of 4-6 from what I had guessed about a month ago. It will also get worse.

    However, there were a few that said there would be hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. by now and one even argued with D. Middleton about exponential growth and said that there would be about 40 million cases and 1.2 million deaths by yesterday.

    • Here’s data through yesterday (4/10) comparing the US with the EU (EU is ~45% the land area & ~130% the population of the US). Both function with singularity with regard to internal and world trade.

      New cases:
      US 33,752
      EU 28,815

      Total Deaths:
      US 18,747
      EU 59,546

      New Deaths:
      US 2,035
      EU 3,162

      Serious, Critical:
      US 10,917
      EU 27,828

      “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

      ― Yogi Berra

    • Scissor should be aware that the Imperial College modeling indicated that in the absence of firmish control measures there would have been 7 billion infections and 40 million deaths by the end of 2020. The reason for these alarming numbers is that this is a highly infectious pathogen – much more so than the other coronaviridae.

      Like it or not, in the absence of control measures this virus could have killed millions very quickly. However, fortunately the “herd immunity” merchants were overruled by responsible governments, particularly those with high-density populations (think London or New York), because the researchers showed that, even if the numbers infected and killed were not as high as they had predicted them to be in the absence of control measures, health services in many, if not most, countries would rapidly have been overwhelmed completely.

      That consideration was decisive in persuading our Prime Minister to take a command decision to overrule the do-little merchants and to institute a temporary lockdown. Mayor Cuomo of New York acted for the same reason – and yet some passivist extremists in these columns have argued that the fact that there is at present sufficient intensive-care capacity in New York is evidence that no lockdown was necessary. On the contrary, Occam’s Razor suggests that there is spare capacity because of the lockdown, without which there would have been disaster.

      • Fundamentally, isolation is a basic principle that works. It’s a given and, further, one should be cautious in the face of uncertainty.

        The experiment is ongoing and hopefully, after all is done analysis and refinement will teach us how to do better. That said, one projection over estimated cases and deaths by 100% after day 2.

      • I must take exception to this.
        The modelling that you cite included scenarios where such measures as have been taken, were taken. These scenarios significantly over-estimated both infections and deaths – as I understand it, by at least an order of magnitude. This would seem to indicate a deficient model, or at least a case of absolute worse case assumptions, even when stated not to be.

        It is also worthy of note that the economic costs associated with lockdowns are significant and of themselves have been and will responsible not only for loss of life, but also a significant decrease in our resources (GDP) that we must marshal to fight this and other significant threats to both individuals and society. Even should one believe that lives are more important than economies (which one of course should), this is not an insignificant fact – the cure should never cost more lives than the disease, or it is no cure at all, just a shift of deaths from one cause to another.

        • In response to Kneel, the modeling by Imperial College made it plain that the 40 million deaths worldwide by the end of 2020 would occur in the absence of control measures, not in their presence. The report, which was made available to Ministers before they introduced the UK lockdown, was published a few days later and is available.

          • Yes, indeed – as I noted, they also offered several scenarios, based on different measures taken, and I would appreciate your discussion of these as well.

            As I understand it, US numbers were 100-240k with full measures taken, UK about 50k or so – IOW, a tenfold drop compared to no measures. While it’s not yet over, this certainly appears to be a drastic over-prediction if we are indeed already over the peak and expect to see an exponential drop – the case rate is normally symmetric about the peak, as I’m sure you know, so at or very near the peak would tend to indicate we’ve seen about 50% of casualties to date (yes, delay between diagnosis and death, I know).

            Kind thanks for your continued engagement with many posters, as usual with similar levels of respect shown as received.

        • The modelling that you cite included scenarios where such measures as have been taken, were taken. These scenarios significantly over-estimated both infections and deaths – as I understand it, by at least an order of magnitude.

          This is wrong. I agree with MoB on this. There has been NO revision to the original numbers by Imperial College. They modelled a range projections on a number of intervention scenarios.

          I’m afraid your opinion is being influenced by blog comments rather than the actual reports. Imperial College report from March 16th is here.

          https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

    • They also wailed that the hospitals would be overflowing, but many if not most hospitals in the US are empty and many of their employees laid off. This is what the ones who are still “working” do to endure the boredom.

      https://twitter.com/OpinionsMiOwn/status/1248751552430473220

      I’ve seen many instances of this clownish behavior. Rush-to-the-bottom panic-babies will say that’s because lockdown and social distancing worked. No, it’s because models, bureaucrats and politicians lie.

      • Nonsense, who relies on twitter for real news? Go to your local hospital yourself and see what’s going on. Unless you live in a rural part of Wyoming, I think you’ll see the truth.

      • Unfortunately, the furtively pseudonymous “Icisil” does not have an open mind. Hospitals would have been overflowing, particularly in urban areas with high population densities and thus infection rates, if it had not been for the control measures that were introduced. Even after the UK lockdown, and even after the provision of thousands of extra ICU beds in vast emergency hospitals, several UK hospitals are becoming desperate at the growth in the number of cases requiring advanced and prolonged intensive care, and doctors in these hospitals are begging the population to adhere strictly to the lockdown for the time being.

        Icisil should rejoin the real world.

    • I was just reading a report that in New York City, about 200 people a day are dying at home, vs about 800 in hospitals.
      The number dying at home was said to be ten times the normal rate of deaths per day seen prior to the outbreak.
      Just for an idea of how bad it can be.
      The cruise ship of Australian nationals in Uruguay has been confirmed to have well over half the people on board testing positive. We can likely infer that many were infected and now have antibodies but no virus, as is being seen where this is being tested for.
      The assumption that the ration of possible infections to people who are immune could be inferred from and data from the Japan cruise ship passengers is now seen to be not factual.
      Anyone trying to make the case this virus is some sort of mass delusion, really ought to take a few deep breathes, wipe their mind of cognitive dissonance, and have a look at ALL the data we have to examine.
      Then think about the whole thing without trying to DECIDE what is what, but LEARN what is what.

      • re: “Anyone trying to make the case this virus is some sort of mass delusion”

        Death stats are being ‘front-loaded’ for the year from the present crop of ‘weak and infirm’; this is an ever-changing (new) demographic as the population ages.

        Will have to see how death stats change of the course of the next 365 days to see how this bears out, until the next ‘cycle’ (flu season) hits the new entrants into the ‘weak and infirm’ demographic.

    • The reporting of the cause of death has been corrupted by the policies mostly from the CDC. On an average day, 420+ people die in New York and up to 600-700 in the flu season, to be conservative. So, when they say, 750 people died on a day, it would not be unusual for that just to be the total deaths not excess deaths. Thus, far, excess world deaths are lower than all of the last three years. It’s just the numbers and they are what they are.

      The use of “cases” is a huge misleading abuse of language. You are not a “case” if you are tested positive if you are not sick, no symptoms. A sentient person might suggest that it was a false positive, because how could 15–50% of people testing positive be asymptomatic; all carriers? That makes no sense. Why is nobody questioning the tests? As we test more and more, it amounts to an epidemic of testing and with all the possible false positives, a false epidemic.

      • Mr Higley appears to have very little understanding of elementary epidemiology. Before March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency, there was so little testing that the great majority of the confirmed cases were ill enough to require hospitalization. Since then, testing has been greatly increased, and yet the daily compound growth rate in total confirmed cases is falling. And why is that? Because control measures work, that’s why.

    • It is good of Scissor to concede that he had at first underestimated the deaths in the U.S. attributable to the Chinese virus. It will indeed get worse, unfortunately, but on the other hand the daily compound growth rate in deaths is falling.

      As to the number of fatalities that might have arisen in the absence of control measures, the death rate was increasing in the U.S. at about 30% compound per day (if I remember correctly) in the three weeks to March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency. It is not difficult to work out that if that rate of increase had been allowed to continue, there might indeed have been more than a million Chinese-virus deaths in the U.S. before general population immunity brought the death rate down.

  4. MoB

    Here is some interesting data comparing San Francisco which locked down early versus LoaAngles which
    did not

    And more important, observations about SF companies that moved even earlier than the government

    https://youtu.be/Odngvcd45ZY?t=775

    Along with some interesting data on restaurants and peoples actual behavior

    • I am again indebted to Mr Mosher for his link to the YouTube presentation on the astonishing difference between locking down early in San Francisco and late in Los Angeles. As anyone who has studied epidemiology knows, there is a premium on acting very promptly. It is not weeks or days that count, so much as hours.

      • While the final results of the Swedish experiment are not in yet preliminary results do not favour the Swedish approach…

        Sweden 88 deaths/million
        Norway 22 deaths/million
        Denmark 45 deaths/million
        Finland 9 deaths /million

        and throw in..
        Australia 2 deaths/million
        New Zealand 0.8 deaths/million
        USA 62 deaths/million

        I think the lesson there is go hard and go early
        Leave your libertarian instincts at home.

        Then there is the question of whose economy will recover fastest and at what cost ?
        Will the measure be deaths per percentage of increased GDP ?

        • Yesterday, as of 17:00 EDT Sweden was getting a decline in daily cases. New cases yesterday were 544 & previous day had been 722, which had been the highest so far.

          Deaths yesterday in Sweden were 77 people & this likewise was less than the previous day’s 106 deceased from WuhanVirus.

          • It’s meaningless to look at the numbers day by day. The reported data is not actual but days old and skewed around weekends and holidays (Eastern!).

            New Zealand is very, very strict in its measures. Even stricter than Italy. They are trying to hunt down all the cases and than eradicate the virus by banning travel inside the country. The benefits of living on an island.

        • … results do not favour the Swedish approach…

          Sweden 88 deaths/million
          Norway 22 deaths/million
          Denmark 45 deaths/million
          Finland 9 deaths /million

          and throw in..
          Australia 2 deaths/million
          New Zealand 0.8 deaths/million
          USA 62 deaths/million

          NO mention of “demographics” (age groups) in that simple stats “snapshot”; we see with demographics in other areas (like NY) that this virus takes out the “weak and infirm” front-loading those deaths in the statistics **early** in the yearly ‘cycle’ (like flu does) … no?

          WAIT for death stats the next 365 days, there ought to be a decrease at some point since the ‘weak hands’ are taken out a little earlier (by and due to Covid-19 *and* the early aggressive use of ventilators and NO hcq regimen).

        • “I think the lesson there is go hard and go early
          Leave your libertarian instincts at home.”

          yup. People need to remember that China welded Wuhan shut on the 23rd
          Airtight.

          go early go hard, or stay home

      • Yes, the other thing people fail to understand is that it’s not enough to look at a national
        POLICY, you have to look at the local execution.
        is the policy adopted, followed and enforced locally.

        As was shown in the Spanish flu it is the speed of action which drives the results.

  5. “Chinese virus is no worse than the annual flu”…

    I don’t see how you can compare the two…..there’s a flu vaccine…what would the numbers be for the flu if there were no vaccine

    • Well in the year that they put the wrong strain in the influenza vaccine there was no increase in deaths. Another year manufacturing problems meant the influenza season had already peaked before they had the vaccine available and again no extra deaths.

      In the first case nobody was vaccinated for the strain that was in circulation and in the second nobody was vaccinated until infections were already on the way down. In both years there was no extra deaths.

      • Yes, good. And let’s always keep in mind that the majority of people in the US don’t get flu shots (I’m one of them), and that an appreciable number of people who get flu shots still go on to get the flu.

    • Latitude
      You have to realize that sometimes (frequently?) those responsible for specifying the vaccine cocktail guess wrong about the dominant strain(s). In those years, the vaccine is not very effective, perhaps totally ineffective. For example, in the 2017-2018 season there were an estimated 80,000 deaths. An important point is that we have tolerated such high death rates for decades without any extraordinary interventions or mitigations (or even concern expressed by the MSM) even when we have known early in the season that there was a mis-match in the vaccine to the strain(s) circulating. My personal view is that COVID-19 is nothing like Ebola or even the Spanish Flu, which would have justified shutting down commerce. I think that a heightened awareness, and encouragement to engage in social distancing, would have been the more appropriate response unless or until it looked like regional hospital resources were in danger of being overwhelmed. Then more strict mitigations would have been called for in those regions. I think we have over-reacted because of an unwarranted faith in models, being used with poor data.

      • Thanks Clyde….I had forgotten about the times the vaccine didn’t work
        ..and you’re absolutely right

    • Latitude

      Around 66 percent of people are vaccinated and in a bad year such as 2014 when the wrong vaccination was chosen only some 30 percent of that 66 percent were effectively protected.
      Tonyb

    • You don’t see bodies being “stored” in mass pits in NewYork or crematoria unable to meet demand during a normal flu season

  6. Well 19,000 is a whole lot lower than 2.2 million.

    I often wonder if the CVD-19 infection and mortality models were created by the same people who wrote the climate models.

    • In response to Klem, though not everyone in medicine is honest (particularly where it interfaces with certain drug corporations), I have generally found Imperial College to be refreshingly hard-headed. The research showing the potential to infect 7 billion people and kill 40 million of them by the end of 2020 in the absence of control measures was perfectly reasonable in the circumstances.

      Fortunately, governments took heed, and the worst has been averted.

      The central point is that, during the early stages of any pandemic, the rate of growth in cases, and then in deaths, is near-strictly exponential. Therefore, the earlier one intervenes to prevent exponential growth, the more time one buys to increase intensive-care and testing capacity, to ensure supplies of personal protective equipment, and to research new or existing prophylactics, palliatives or cures.

    • Well 19,000 is a whole lot lower than 2.2 million.

      Yes it is but the mitigation measures have slowed down the progress of the spread. However the number of deaths is still doubling every 6 days. If that were to continue the 2.2 million figure would be reached in about 6 weeks.

    • I often wonder if the CVD-19 infection and mortality models were created by the same people who wrote the climate models.

      Dr Ferguson was (is?) not keen at all to release the code driving his model.

  7. Rather than comparison with the same week in previous years, a more appropriate comparison would be to a bad flu year. For example in the UK in the winter of 2017-18, flu led to excess winter deaths of 49,410 people (ONS), including single weeks with over 6,000 excess deaths.

    The total number of deaths attributed to CV in the UK is currently 9,875, with 5,562 in the last week.

    Also, the question of whether all these deaths attributed to CV are”extra” to the usual figures will have to wait for the calculation of excess death figures.

  8. CM of B. Thank you for the update. Below is from my FB page today.

    None of us will get out of this party, alive. Not one of us.
    It really brings home some perspective to realize that it is not so much HOW you die, as WHEN, but die, we, will.
    This time could become known as the LOST GENERATION.
    So many things we’re losing now will never come back. Many small businesses, many restaurants, exercise clubs, Theatres, cinemas, sports venues and games. Nothing will be the same. Our kids will be even more isolated, introverted, and paranoid. I ache for a good burger, and good fish and chips… not available near me.
    Even many schools and universities will close. It’s an ill wind indeed…. A better education and much cheaper too, can be obtained with distance learning over the internet for many subjects outside of science and engineering, so no big loss. Fewer people will travel to far off lands to live it up on expense accounts as they discuss the future of the world, on other peoples’ dimes. Airlines will fail. Farmers are not having too good a time either. Half of all farm produce went to restaurants. However, we still have to eat, so the stores will take it instead.
    Some pet projects will bite the dust, I hope, except those that politicians can hide as pork in an urgent bill. ‘Trow de bums out’.
    The Climate Change scam? Who gives a rat’s arse about some computer models that can’t even predict yesterday’s weather when you give them all of the data, while others will have you believe that they can see thirty and a hundred years out. Why not, there’s billions of dollars ready to be picked off from those pig-ignorant government suckers using MY money. Next meeting of COP… Iqaluit (N. Canada), or Greenland… but you have to walk, or dog-sled there.
    Speaking of computer models… even the predictions of this Corona virus impact, courtesy of another crazy computer model, have to be revised all of the time… from more than 2E6 (two million) dead in the US, to maybe 1.2E6, to 200k, to 100k, to 90k, to …. 60k and even that will come down too. My WAG (wild arsed guess, but not really wild arsed, since I have earlier numbers to work on), is about 40k, and likely to be wrong too. There should be an especially warm place in hell reserved for certain computer Modelers.
    Whether you take the hit now, or try to spread it out, about the same numbers will die no matter what you do (maybe fewer, since you will not overwhelm the medical system all at once, maybe more, since you don’t have ‘herd immunity’ to protect those who come out of hiding after getting fed up). A vaccine is still more than a year away, while others resist any mitigation effort… If Trump suggested it, it can’t possibly work.
    Get government out of the way. Fire half of the FDA for their incompetence and delays.
    Let’s face it… we panicked because we believed the first WAGS. We emptied the hospitals and got ready. Hospitals are still empty, staff furloughed, waiting, still waiting while politicians still fight to remain relevant. ‘I need this, that, and the other…’ even when they don’t. Other people die instead, who should have been hospitalized, but at least accidents on the road and at work are down. Druggies die at home. No one dares go to the hospital. Military hospitals trickling along. Hospital ships; barely functioning. Still, ‘we played it safe’, they say. The inquisition, was playing it safe. Burning witches was playing it safe too.
    Except we learned it on bad advice from MODELERS who didn’t know what a ‘mitigating response’ was. They assumed everyone would flop around like fish out of water. And then there was WHO (the World Health Organization) which was acting more in China’s interest than ours. Defund, WHO, it’s not serving its intended purpose, but has become Political. Move the UN and all of its parasites out of NY, to Ethiopia, and watch it wither, and maybe get some relevance.
    Put politicians in the midst of what should concern them and as far from us as possible. Send them all to Siberia.
    We learned the elderly were most at risk from this, as from the annual flu. Hindsight is great. Instead of killing the economy as we are still hell bent on doing, all we needed was to caution the elderly to stay put, shelter, and for everyone to be careful. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep your distance. Instead, the nanny state took over. We cannot be trusted. Bureaucracy run wild.
    THEY will still have jobs and get their paychecks while they tell us what to do. NO FAIR. Layoff these parasites, shrink government. Put them in the same boat as the rest of us so that they hurt the same and will then make sensible decisions… but don’t hold your breath on that one.

    • One agrees with much of what Mr Sutherland writes. However, modeling pandemics is actually a whole lot easier than modeling climate. In the early stages, transmission is near-strictly exponential, as I demonstrated yesterday with a handy blink comparator. That is why the Imperial College, McKinsey and other leading models came up with much the same death rates, even though they had not been forced into line by “intercomparison” like the climate models.

      There was indeed a real risk of widespread death and destruction if control measures had not been taken.

      There remains a balance to be struck between the economic damage caused by lockdowns and the death, destruction and societal disruption caused by health services altogether collapsing under the sheer weight of numbers requiring more advanced and more prolonged intensive care than for the typical viral pneumonia.

      It would not, alas, have been sufficient to tell the elderly to stay put. In care homes, many have died because they had no choice but to stay put, but the virus was brought to them by carers and visitors. Young people will not die in large numbers from the Chinese virus, but they can carry it about and infect others.

      Mr Sutherland’s point that the bureaucrats will all continue to be paid, while the private sector will not, is a particularly good one.

      • When you speak about Imperial College modeling, which one do you speak about ? The original one which was not peer reviewed or the 25th corrections since then ?

        Do you realise the scaremongering created by the , wrong, first version ? I guess it is irrelevant when you have an ideology…

  9. Fauci is a Nasty rat, The imperial college report is Wrong, yet both use bill gates funding to get conclusions 😐 Fauci has been wrong on everything since day one…. Bill wants vaccine chips and the uk wants bio metric ID cards for those who have a vaccine…

    Robert F Kennedy Jr woke me up about Bill

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-s-9ZjH0YP/

    When did simple Bill gates become a doctor? Or and type of medical specialist?

    • … and Google and the Apple boys are already tracking movements of every single mobile/cell phone. I kept ‘location’ turned off, but not sure that helps anyway, so now I turn phone off unless I’m at home.
      Otherwise, soon I may get text message
      go back home, your exercise time is over,
      or
      you should not be driving 20 miles away from your home, this is your last worming. Penalties for violation of lock-down restrictions range from £60 to £1000.

      • Turning location off will prevent apps from knowing where you are (generally, some can get it from WiFi information). The only organisation that can track movements via cell towers is your service provider, as far as I know. Generally they don’t supply that information except to law enforcement when requested.

        I keep location off at all times except when I’m using the phone for navigation. I can’t see a valuable reason to waste so much battery power, let alone lose privacy, otherwise.

    • The imperial college report is Wrong,

      Have you read it? The projections for the current UK mitigation strategy look spot on to me. Also it was pretty clear that the previous strategy would have resulted in a death toll close to the IC figure.

    • The vaccine card is just the beginning. Eventually they will want your entire genetic code. And currently people are terrified enough to give it up willingly.

      Once governments have that, they will be in total control.

      And people wonder why gun sales are skyrocketing.

  10. Well the good news is that the government has declared that the Easter Bunny is an essential worker.

    • In response to TRM, this Chinese virus has proven to be particularly problematic for policymakers, first and foremost because the Chinese Communists in the Politburo have lied about it at every stage from the outset. I watched the Chinese foreign minister lying through his teeth at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February, saying how responsibly China had acted to prevent the spread of the infection to other nations.

      Secondly, development of an antibody test, which is an important prerequisite for establishing how far the infection has spread and how many are now immune, has been hampered by difficulties in obtaining a test specific enough to distinguish this species of coronavirus from the many other coronaviridae that are a lot less harmful.

      It is precisely because governments did not have proper information available to them, but knew that the disease was spreading exponentially, as every such disease must in its early stages, acted with varying degrees of promptitude to inhibit transmission and force the curve away from the exponential and towards the logistic. Those who acted fastest saved the most lives.

      • I do not believe the CDC is padding the numbers.

        Our dear friends just lost their 20-year old daughter to pneumonia. They had to watch her die via video feed, as COVID was strongly suspected as the cause.

        They were also told the wake would have to be a closed casket affair if she tested positive. Thankfully, the test was negative and six people are allowed to attend the wake.

        Only the cruelest of societies would deliberately lie to families to pad morbidity statistics

        • The CDC is definitely inflating the numbers via presumptive diagnoses (among other things), and they are known liars (swine flu).

          • It is time for the furtively pseudonymous “Icisil” to realize that it has lost this debate. Responsible national and state administrations are simply not prepared to expose their healthcare systems to overloading leading to collapse. They have taken precautionary measures that have successfully reduced the rate of transmission, and that has bought them time to build up intensive-care capacity.

            As soon as it is apparent that that capacity will be likely to prove adequate, lockdown measures will be progressively withdrawn in accordance with plans similar to that outlined by me here a few days ago.

      • “I watched the Chinese foreign minister lying through his teeth at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February, saying how responsibly China had acted to prevent the spread of the infection to other nations.”

        It looks to me like the Chinese leadership deliberately spread the Wuhan virus to the rest of the world.

        Here’s an addition to the timeline:

        January 24, 2020, Chinese leadership shuts down air travel between Wuhan and the rest of China, yet still encourages international flights in and out of Wuhan, knowing full well they had a very infectious disease on their hands.

        Deliberate. It can’t be anything else. They knew what they were doing.

        • re: “Deliberate. It can’t be anything else.”

          Axiom #1 “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”

          Axiom #2 “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.”

          • Mr Abbott is right and the furtively anonymous _Jim is wrong. There are multiple and compelling lines of evidence that the Chinese Communist regime knew of the infection as far back as November 2019; that they knew by December that it spread from person to person; that as late as mid-January they were pretending that it did not spread from person to person; and that as late as mid-March they were saying there was no need to restrict travel and trade with China, when, as Mr Abbott rightly points out, they had banned all internal travel into and out of Wuhan almost two months earlier.

          • re: “Malice and stupidity are both attributes of the CCP.”

            Fear. Fear drives them. They know no other motivating factor. Coming out of the ‘fear’ syndrome (the literal grip of fear) is a product of enlightenment, of Redemption; Easter. The risen Christ. It’s what brought our hemisphere into a new era … Happy Easter!

            BTW, it’s “Chicoms”. Chinese Communists. My CCP is issued by the State of Texas.

            https://www.usacarry.com/texas_concealed_carry_permit_information.html

        • A lot of people are of the opinion that the reason the world was taken by surprise was because “China lied.” We hear this all the time, usually from politicians and the media. We don’t have any PPE for our health care workers? China didn’t tell us they had an epidemic. We didn’t develop tests in time? China didn’t tell us they had an epidemic. etc.

          Do we imagine, even for a second, that our intel agencies that can eavesdrop on conversations between leaders of their own allies were not competent enough to eavesdrop on messages going back and forth between politburo members and the health care officials? I say, countries with the most effect intelligence agencies, the US for example, knew exactly what was happening and would have briefed the leadership accordingly. What happens next is based on political calculations.

          If we except the “China lied” excuse, we are accepting the excuses of politicians who didn’t act in time, because they ignored the evidence for political expedience. They should not be allowed to get away with this.

          • re: “Do we imagine, even for a second, that our intel agencies that can eavesdrop on conversations between leaders of their own allies were not competent enough to eavesdrop on messages going back and forth between politburo members and the health care officials?”

            Please detail how monitoring “health care officials” in China would take place, in Wuhan, in Hubei province? Are you at all familiar with telco/telecom switch practices and equipment as well as more advanced networks involving wireless and TCP/IP (data packet) networks? Can you shed some light on what “access points” the intel agencies would ‘insert’ (or attache) their monitoring probe and begin to listen en masse to Chinese health care “officials”? HOW MUCH T-span or E-span fiber or cable would they need in the way of “back haul” capacity to the US to allow transcription to English by trained Chinese linguists/translators at CIA headquarters? These are all PHYSICAL items to consider outside of ‘fanciful’ movie plots and scripts and assumed ‘magic’ in the process.

  11. re …China continued decline….
    Accoding to Willis’s last China curve
    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/corona-deaths-20200326.png?w=709&ssl=1
    China levelled off at a very low number of 20 deaths per 10 million, lower than South Korea even. This would cause one to question whether their numbers are correct or whether they have chosen to get back to work and categorize Covid19 deaths under the “old age” category…

    • There are many problems with China’s numbers. Once China realized it was going to get the blame for having lied about the virus, with the active collaboration of its wholly-owned subsidiary the World Death Organization, it decided very suddenly to stop issuing correct figures for cases and deaths, and instead to pretend that the disease had been conquered.

      For the Chinese regime is rightly terrified of the wrath of its own brutalized population. The Politburo feared that if the true numbers had continued to be reported the regime would have been overthrown. So it began to lie still more than it already had. Therefore, none of the figures from China can be believed at all.

  12. How about we get the antibody testing up and running, answer the question about how close we are to herd immunity and slow down on the exponential growth in speculation?

    • Mr Davis is right that governments need better data, for otherwise they cannot justify bringing lockdowns to an end. That is why everyone is working hard on an antibody test, which, however, is proving elusive because it cannot yet be made specific enough to distinguish between this species of coronavirus and the other, less harmful coronaviridae.

      My own solution, if another week passes without a sufficiently specific antibody test for this particular coronavirus, would be to test the entire population for any form of coronavirus, since the prevalence of coronavirus infection at any one time is usually only 15% of the population. Those 15%, plus as many more as have acquired the much more infectious Chinese virus, could then be targeted for further monitoring, and invited to isolate themselves, while all who had no antibodies to any coronavirus would be free, subject to repeated testing, to go about their business.

      • Sorry that’s bass ackwards m’Lud… those with antibodies go free… not infectious and can’t catch it… everyone else gets locked down surley??

        • 91 patients in South Korea who were tested as clear of the virus have found to be infected again.
          So either the tests don’t work very well or the virus hides like herpes and chiken pox.

          • Obviously the test is junk. It’s amazing how much faith people put into the test without really knowing anything about it.

          • The relentlessly ill-informed “Icisil” appears not to understand that even imperfect tests are generally better than no tests at all. With a new pathogen, obtaining tests both for antigens and separately for antibodies is difficult. One must ensure that the test is sensitive enough to detect the infection or the antibodies, and specific enough to be sure that the infection or antibodies are the right ones.

            Meanwhile, the overcrowded intensive-care units in many hospitals indicate how much more serious and difficult to treat the Chinese virus is than usual viral pneumonias. That is why governments have had to take costly precautions.

          • Could have been false negative. The virus can be present deep down in the lung that it’s not possible to get a sample from there so the it appears negative. Then it spreads again to upper parts that can be tested. Et violà positive again.

            Antibody tests are difficult to develop. Though there are general techniques to generate them but it takes time and there is a great deal of stochastics (trial&error) involved.

            Biology is a relatively imprecise science with a high variability due to its complexity.

        • Slyrik is of course right: I meant “antibodies”, not “no antibodies”. Mea culpa.

      • What I have in mind is random testing with an antibody test that of course needs to differentiate between common cold corona viruses and sars-covi2.

        Have you considered how long it would take at current testing capacity to test 325 million people or even 160 million workers? (About 53 months to test 160m at 100k/day). I’m not sure about UK testing capacity, but suspect it is no better.

        So universal testing within a month would require capacity for about 11 million tests per day in the US, starting tomorrow. That’s more than a 100-fold increase overnight. Simply impossible, isn’t it?

        The purpose of a statistical survey of immunity would be to test the hypothesis that we are already nearing herd immunity. If we are not, then we have more difficult choices.

        If this survey demonstrates a high % immunity approaching herd immunity, then protect the vulnerable and let the rest return to work without much fear.

        If the antibody test cannot accurately detect immunity to covid-19, I don’t see how your approach would work. Those who test positive to a non-specific coronavirus antibody test are either immune to covid-19 or have been exposed to some harmless coronavirus and are still vulnerable to covid-19. Those who test negative to the non-specific coronavirus antibody test are clearly still vulnerable to covid-19, so how can they be the ones returned to work safely while excluding those whose positive test may indicate immunity? This moot point ignores my first point that the universal testing would take years at current rates.

        It seems to me (as a self-appointed epidemiologist who lacks an armchair), that without a specific cv antibody test, our GPs would need to carefully screen people for risk factors (especially including vaping & smoking among otherwise normally low-risk populations), and allow those in the low risk group to return to work without any further testing. Due to the need for prudence, probably starting with the least at-risk, and proceeding in phases with initially strict social distancing, masks, etc., gradually relaxed.

        Continue to perform diagnostic testing for symptomatic cases and do not defer testing on patients with only minor symptoms. This will still require a major continued ramp-up of test capacity.

        Also encourage early HCQ-zinc therapy for patients who test positive and do not have contraindications.

        I don’t believe that any approach depending on universal testing can possibly work in an acceptable timeframe. If we are not already nearing herd immunity, we need to find ways to safely expose low-risk people while rigorously protecting high risk people.

        • With 18,000 Abbott machines doing 15-minute tests 24/7, you can test 1,728,000 people per day (if the test kits can be manufactured at that rate and the techs are available, and assuming you can run back-to-back with no lag). That would allow one-time testing of people who have a job in about three months. Do we stay shut down that long? Remember that you will need many people to get multiple tests if your only way to confirm immunity is to get a positive test followed by a negative test. None of the currently immune will ever drop off the testing regime, so more likely this approach dictates being shut down for a year.

          If the goal is to ensure the collapse of western civilization, that sounds like just the ticket.

          • Mr Davis should be aware that, even where it is not possible to test an entire population simply – and this early in the pandemic, unsurprisingly, it is not – one can conduct carefully-controlled random sampling, which will provide quite reliable information on how far we are progressing towards population-wide immunity. That has already begun in the United Kingdom and, no doubt, in many other countries.

            Once it is apparent that lockdowns have worked well enough to ensure that healthcare and hospital systems are not going to be overrun, a tailored phase-out of the lockdowns will begin as soon as possible, and it will feature the approach described by me here a few days ago and echoed by Mr Davis.

            No one wants to keep lockdowns in place for a moment longer than is strictly necessary to prevent collapse of healthcare systems.

  13. One thing is for sure…the response for the “next time” had better be better tailored than shutting down an economy. Before this one is over the US will likely have added $4 trillion to the national debt. Do that again and something truly ugly is likely to happen.

      • Debt eventually gets ‘inflated away’ nowadays … I don’t think there is much worry. My opinion.

        “Inflating away the public debt? An empirical assessment”
        http://personal.lse.ac.uk/reisr/papers/99-HilscherRavivReisdebt.pdf

        Introduction
        Higher-than-expected inflation can have some benefits, and one of its most celebrated is to erode the real value of outstanding debt. Public debt is at record high levels across many countries (Reinhart, Reinhart and Rogoff, 2012), constraining monetary and fiscal policy and putting a drag on economic activity because of expected higher future distortionary taxes. A common way that sovereigns pay for high public debt is by having high, and sometimes even hyper, inflation (Reinhart and Rogoff, 2009). Whether this is feasible or likely in the future is an open question. How likely will inflation be sufficiently high to substantially alleviate current heightened debt levels? What are the characteristics of the debt and the stochastic properties of inflation that make substantial debasement more or less likely? In this paper, we propose a method to quantify the likelihood of future inflation substantially eroding the real value of current public debt. We measure the effect of inflation on the fiscal burden by constructing the distribution of inflation-driven debt debasement.

        We combine characteristics of the debt (its maturity structure, holders, and nominal or real payouts) and of future inflation (its persistence and the likelihood of large increases) to quantify the probability of inflation-driven debt reduction of various sizes. We apply our method to the United States at the end of 2015 and thereby inform the debate on how the Unites States may deal with its outstanding public debt. In addition, we show how to map the distribution of debt debasement into central objects in theories of inflation and its effects.

    • You don’t have to do it again. The lockdowns have created a world slump, which will kill vastly more people than Covid19 ever could.

  14. With the susceptibility to dying from SARS CoVid 2 being predominant confined to a small segment of the population i. e., the elderly with compromised health, the death rates may fall precipitously as the vulnerable segment is exhausted and/or the extraordinary precautions to protect the vulnerable start to have effect. It is not clear to me that general quarantine measures are adding anything to strong measures to protect the vulnerable, other than extending the time which the vulnerable will be at risk.

    • “It is not clear to me that general quarantine measures are adding anything to strong measures to protect the vulnerable, other than extending the time which the vulnerable will be at risk.”

      Though I don’t agree with the method, that’s actually a good thing because it gives doctors time to learn how to treat this illness. I’m getting the impression that a lot of the mortality is because doctors don’t really understand what they’re doing and are consequently causing a lot of unintended harm, e.g., early intubation with ARDSnet protocol, experimenting with toxic drugs and, IMO, taking patients off of ACE inhibitors when they’re admitted to the hospital (or so I’ve read).

    • BCBill is quite right that once the most vulnerable have either died of or recovered from the infection the death rates must fall quite steeply.

      The chief reason why firmish control measures were put in place is that, in the absence of reliable data either from China, where this pathogen originated, or from testing, because no one has yet succeeded in developing a sufficiently specific antibody test, governments were compelled to act in the knowledge that incurable new pathogens will spread near-perfectly exponentially in their early stages, and that if the already-established exponential growth rate of 20% compound in cumulative cases had continued for only a few weeks, a fifth of the global population might have been infected, and healthcare and hospital systems everywhere would have been overrun. That unhappy outcome now seems to have been averted, in Western countries at any rate. Therefore, i expect governments to start implrementing slow and steady measures to end the lockdowns in the coming weeks.

  15. Thought I’d put this up on the latest post for those wondering about China’s late reporting and their complicity with the WHO, who’s list of donors has the Gate’s foundation as 3rd largest contributor and another fund of the aforementioned pair of darlings as 5th largest contributor.

    Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November:
    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/intelligence-report-warned-coronavirus-crisis-early-november-sources/story?id=70031273

    • Hi D.H., – I think that Nov. “warning” did not occur & was explicitly stated as an erroneous news report by the USA intelligence authorities.

    • In response to Mr Hartley, the Pentagon has taken the unusual step of commenting “in the interest of transparency during the present crisis”, to the effect that no such intelligence report existed.

      What does seem to be well verified, however, is that China lied to the WHO – and to everyone else – to the effect that the Chinese virus could not transmit from person to person, and went on doing so weeks after the regime can be proven to have known that person-to-person transmission was occurring. The WHO, instead of verifying what the Chinese told it, merely parroted it, and even went to the lengths of supporting a demand from the Politburo that travel restrictions on travel from China should not be imposed.

      There is also evidence that in mid-January Taiwan informed the WHO that person-to-person transmission was possible, but that the WHO, which does not allow Taiwan to be a member because China forbids it, refused to disseminate the information, because China forbade that too.

      Expect crimes-against-humanity charges against both China and its conspirators the World Death Organization in due course. What John Bolton says today tends to happen tomorrow.

      • The idea of the Pentagon and transparency do not even belong in the same language let alone in the same sentence, Perhaps then in the name of transparency they would care to release their video library there should be from the Pentagon cctv cameras, no need to state which would be of extreme interest.

        Is this the same Pentagon that had the chutzpah to send Colin Power on the World stage waving a phial of talcum powder around claiming it as Anthrax? That is if memory serves me well.

        The sight of a grown, intelligent and articulate man not only falling for but peddling simplistic atrocity propaganda for who knows what true purpose is dismaying. One would probably have to visit the Sun’s comment section to find postings of such gullibility.

        As another poster commented please stop calling it the Chinese Virus, outside of possibly the aforementioned Tabloid and it’s fellow travellers one cannot recall seeing it stated as such and certainly not with such vehemence and tedious repetition.

        They’re not letting you back in me old China, best get used to it!

        • Again @ D.H., – This is the old blues song refrain you made me think of: “Nobody loves me but my mother, & she could be jiving too!”

          • Rich,
            You really are a piece of work. David had a mother who hated him and I had a mother who ‘loved’ me, although some people who knew me considered her ‘love’ was a form of child abuse.
            We both have managed to overcome those ‘difficulties’. You, however, will never overcome being a moron.
            I think an apology is in order if you’re man enough.

          • Thank you I understand such a notion, MoB used the blanket term and Colin Power was representing the Pentagon at the time so I too fell back on the same term. It’s a murky World _Jim that’s for sure.

          • Perhaps you’re thinking of Austin Powers?

            Or could be Colin Powell I suppose, nah probably Dr Evil.

        • In response to Mr Hartley, when one cites a report that an intelligence agency had said or done something one should also be fair-minded enough – as Mr Hartley was not – to report that the intelligence agency has issued a denial that it had said or done that thing. Then people can make up their minds.

          Mr Hartley appears to be an apologist for the Communist regime in China. There is overwhelming evidence of the regime’s complicity in allowing the Chinese virus to spread long after it knew that the virus could transmit from person to person. Whether Mr Hartley or any other Communist likes it or not, that evidence is now being assembled and will, in due course, be brought before the relevant international dicasteries.

          And I call the Chinese virus the Chinese virus just as I call a spade a spade. Get over it, and don’t whine.

          • I think you have lost it. A dicastery has something to do with answering to the congregation in the catholic church.

          • Alex, nope it goes back further than that.
            Look up Dicasts.
            “Definition of dicast. : an ancient Athenian performing the functions of both judge and juror at a trial.”

      • “What does seem to be well verified, however, is that China lied to the WHO”

        Is this true? It was my understanding the WHO had their own people on the ground in China, they just didn’t include any Americans.

        • Not mutually exclusive. China lied to the world including the WHO. Those WHO representatives may have been deceived or may, like the clown who pretended not to hear the interviewer’s question about Taiwan, may have been part of the deception.

        • In response to Mr Abbott, during the period when China was lying to the world about whether its virus could transmit from person to person it was denying its wholly-owned subsidiary the World Death Organization the right to send a mission into Wuhan. That mission was delayed by several vital days.

      • I am not an intelligence expert, but it stretches credibility to believe that agencies like the CIA and NSA with all their formidable powers did not know what was really going on in China. These are the same people that listened in on telephone calls between leaders of their own allies. Are we to imagine they lack the ability to listen to the messages going between health officials and politburo members?
        To me, this smacks of politicians trying to duck responsibility for their negligence. Instead of stockpiling PPE and developing reliable testing kits, they chose to sit on their hands for political reasons. We should not allow them to get away with it when they cry “we didn’t know because China didn’t tell the truth.” But incredibly, people are believing these them.

        • Alternate hypothesis, Vincent Causey:

          The intel services called this correctly, as in, “no big deal” BUT the ‘press’ instigated “Project Fear” spreading mass hysteria (and Orange Man still Bad after impeachment failed) and the rest is history …

          We are already getting indications this ‘virus’ has been in circulation back in … November.

    • You ‘bit’ pretty hard on that fake news story, David Hartley … and if you’re gullible, imagine what the un-washed masses who don’t read WUWT thought of it …

      • I don’t watch TV, but must admit I found it curious and just enough to make me go mmm, especially with the ‘unusual’ steps taken to deny it at a time freedoms are under serious assault. If it can be viewed as a fake news story, then it’s just a question of who’s confirmation bias’ are being tickled and that neither of us are likely to discover anytime soon.

        • re: “If it can be viewed as a fake news story”

          Prognosis: Thick. (i.e., thick poster)

          Intelligence services have already taken the unusual step of publicly denying this ‘notice’ took place.

          I think you give the ‘nooze’ services too much credence and credibility, especially in this day and age.

  16. Lord Monckton,

    There a few questions I have. I have always advocated a middle-of-the-road approach, which is to quarantine the elderly and other high-risk individuals and let the rest of us deal with it. I will admit it is not a perfect solution, but no solution is. You have to weigh the risk v. reward. For me personally, I would rather be hospitalized with ever minor disease on this planet and risk death each time than let the bureaucrats even have a sniff of power. “And many strokes, though with a little axe, Hew down and fell the hardest-timbered oak.” — King Henry VI Part III, Act 2, scene 1. A little less liberty here, a little less there, and soon we a police state or a communist state. I already see this setting up because I had the audacity to read the UN IPCC treaties.

    So here are my questions. Of the 19,000 American deaths, how many are because of the virus and how many are people who just had the virus at death? I already know that it will be impossible for anyone to tell. But it is an important distinction. It is, however, something to ponder. When my grandmother died, the doctors listed as a cause of death a cancer she no longer had. Second question: How do we know that the slowdown is the result of the lockdowns and not the result of the natural onset of summer?

    My questions might not have an answer; for indeed I am not looking for an answer. I just want to make a point that I do not believe in the either/or approach. I know the virus is serious and worse than a flu. Action must be taken, but the action should not be one extreme or the other. I am not trying to minimize the virus. I am, however, vehemently and adamantly opposed the loss of liberty even for a second. Power is like a drug, many who get a taste of it do not surrender it voluntarily.

    • The lockdowns only have an effect, and it is likely unmeasurable, in low density locations where you can actually have space. Those locations will not overwhelm their medical system with no lockdown.
      The lockdowns will have 0 effect in large dense cities as it spreads too fast and has far too many asymptomatic carriers. 95% or more of carriers seem to be asymptomatic. These places will overwhelm their medical systems with or without a lockdown, perhaps even more so, because the lockdown is going to give people with milder symptoms more incentive to visit the local ER to get checked up, just in case they have the disease. Why not, what else do they have to do but watch reruns?

      • Astonerii is confused. Lockdowns work by reducing the mean person-to-person contact rate. Anonymized cellphone data in the UK and in other countries with lockdowns demonstrates that that contact rate has declined – outside households – by 85 to 95%. On any view, that is not a zero effect.

        And, given the non-availability of a reliable antibody test (current attempts are not specific enough to distinguish this coronavirus from others), it is not possible to say what fraction of the population is asymptomatic. Astonerii guesses it is 95%, which would be considerably less than for any other coronavirus. But responsible governments cannot, do not and will not make policy on the basis of half-baked guesses of that kind.

    • Mr Wade has made a thoughtful and balanced comment.

      In answer to his first point, HM Government originally tried inviting the elderly and infirm to isolate themselves as best they could, but it was found that this approach was not preventing transmission to the most vulnerable. The spread of the infection in care homes for the elderly has been particularly tragic – and, for some reason to do with harmonization of statistics, the numerous deaths in care homes are not counted among the daily death statistics.

      While the Government was advising the old and sick to isolate themselves (a step that I had already taken some weeks previously), it was allowing large-scale events such as the Cheltenham racing festival to go ahead, with catastrophic consequences. Therefore, Boris Johnson, having listened for weeks to the wrangling between the activist and passivist factions of the medico-scientific community, took a command decision to lock the country down. He took it just a bit too late, so several hospitals are already overrun, and we have had to build a dozen vast new temporary intensive-care hospitals in major cities to cope with anticipated demand.

      As to the vexed “died of” or “died with the Chinese virus” question, the simplest answer is that it is nearly always easy to determine whether the Chinese virus was the proximate cause of death. A smoker, for instance, might live for a long time were it not for exposure to the virus, which inflicts breathing difficulties on him. The fact that if he had not smoked he would have survived rightly does not prevent his death being attributed to the Chinese virus.

      Precisely because this virus is so brutal in its action on those who are vulnerable (for instance, in Russia the lungs of some victims have been reported as having turned to dust), it is usually abundantly clear that those who had the virus when they died had indeed died of the virus and not merely with it.

      And I share Wade’s distaste for the erosion of liberty that lockdown entails. I, too, am a libertarian. However, I am satisfied, after having made detailed enquiries, that – in Britain at any rate – if a lockdown had not been introduced the hospital system would have been overwhelmed. As it is, all elective surgery has been canceled, and all but the most urgent cancer operations have been set aside for now.

      Given that globally the number of confirmed cases was increasing exponentially at a rate of 20% per day during the three weeks to March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency, no responsible government, particularly with high urban population density, could look the other way and let its healthcare system collapse.

      So lockdowns were introduced, and rightly so. However, they will not be left in place for a moment longer than necessary.

    • I have been using the information from Alberta Health.
      From ages of 0 to 60 years, a total of 1123 confirmed, 40 in hospital, 11 in ICU, 3 deaths
      Ages of 70 plus: a total of 179 cases, 50 in hospital, 14 in ICU, 27 deaths.

      In Alberta this strongly indicates that age and underlying issues are the main problem. All three under 60 had underlying problems. What does information from the rest of the world indicate?

      Seems we are locking down the wrong people.

  17. Hi, let me repost this from the comments in an earlier article which had just linked it. I’m not the original author, but this seemed to make a lot of sense to myself and others on WUWT who read it. Previously this was just a link, but here is the whole text. Hopefully people with more medical knowledge can comment on it. This seems to be saying that our treatments for existing patients are of limited use, and we should be giving them transfusions and other treatments because the problem is with deactivated hemoglobin.

    Covid-19 had us all fooled, but now we might have finally found its secret.
    libertymavenstock

    In the last 3–5 days, a mountain of anecdotal evidence has come out of NYC, Italy, Spain, etc. about COVID-19 and characteristics of patients who get seriously ill. It’s not only piling up but now leading to a general field-level consensus backed up by a few previously little-known studies that we’ve had it all wrong the whole time. Well, a few had some things eerily correct (cough Trump cough), especially with Hydroxychloroquine with Azithromicin, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

    There is no ‘pneumonia’ nor ARDS. At least not the ARDS with established treatment protocols and procedures we’re familiar with. Ventilators are not only the wrong solution, but high pressure intubation can actually wind up causing more damage than without, not to mention complications from tracheal scarring and ulcers given the duration of intubation often required… They may still have a use in the immediate future for patients too far to bring back with this newfound knowledge, but moving forward a new treatment protocol needs to be established so we stop treating patients for the wrong disease.

    The past 48 hours or so have seen a huge revelation: COVID-19 causes prolonged and progressive hypoxia (starving your body of oxygen) by binding to the heme groups in hemoglobin in your red blood cells. People are simply desaturating (losing o2 in their blood), and that’s what eventually leads to organ failures that kill them, not any form of ARDS or pneumonia. All the damage to the lungs you see in CT scans are from the release of oxidative iron from the hemes, this overwhelms the natural defenses against pulmonary oxidative stress and causes that nice, always-bilateral ground glass opacity in the lungs. Patients returning for re-hospitalization days or weeks after recovery suffering from apparent delayed post-hypoxic leukoencephalopathy strengthen the notion COVID-19 patients are suffering from hypoxia despite no signs of respiratory ‘tire out’ or fatigue.

    Here’s the breakdown of the whole process, including some ELI5-level cliff notes. Much has been simplified just to keep it digestible and layman-friendly.

    Your red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to all your organs and the rest of your body. Red blood cells can do this thanks to hemoglobin, which is a protein consisting of four “hemes”. Hemes have a special kind of iron ion, which is normally quite toxic in its free form, locked away in its center with a porphyrin acting as it’s ‘container’. In this way, the iron ion can be ‘caged’ and carried around safely by the hemoglobin, but used to bind to oxygen when it gets to your lungs.

    When the red blood cell gets to the alveoli, or the little sacs in your lungs where all the gas exchange happens, that special little iron ion can flip between FE2+ and FE3+ states with electron exchange and bond to some oxygen, then it goes off on its little merry way to deliver o2 elsewhere.

    Here’s where COVID-19 comes in. Its glycoproteins bond to the heme, and in doing so that special and toxic oxidative iron ion is “disassociated” (released). It’s basically let out of the cage and now freely roaming around on its own. This is bad for two reasons:

    1) Without the iron ion, hemoglobin can no longer bind to oxygen. Once all the hemoglobin is impaired, the red blood cell is essentially turned into a Freightliner truck cab with no trailer and no ability to store its cargo.. it is useless and just running around with COVID-19 virus attached to its porphyrin. All these useless trucks running around not delivering oxygen is what starts to lead to desaturation, or watching the patient’s spo2 levels drop. It is INCORRECT to assume traditional ARDS and in doing so, you’re treating the WRONG DISEASE. Think of it a lot like carbon monoxide poisoning, in which CO is bound to the hemoglobin, making it unable to carry oxygen. In those cases, ventilators aren’t treating the root cause; the patient’s lungs aren’t ‘tiring out’, they’re pumping just fine. The red blood cells just can’t carry o2, end of story. Only in this case, unlike CO poisoning in which eventually the CO can break off, the affected hemoglobin is permanently stripped of its ability to carry o2 because it has lost its iron ion. The body compensates for this lack of o2 carrying capacity and deliveries by having your kidneys release hormones like erythropoietin, which tell your bone marrow factories to ramp up production on new red blood cells with freshly made and fully functioning hemoglobin. This is the reason you find elevated hemoglobin and decreased blood oxygen saturation as one of the 3 primary indicators of whether the shit is about to hit the fan for a particular patient or not.

    2) That little iron ion, along with millions of its friends released from other hemes, are now floating through your blood freely. As I mentioned before, this type of iron ion is highly reactive and causes oxidative damage. It turns out that this happens to a limited extent naturally in our bodies and we have cleanup & defense mechanisms to keep the balance. The lungs, in particular, have 3 primary defenses to maintain “iron homeostasis”, 2 of which are in the alveoli, those little sacs in your lungs we talked about earlier. The first of the two are little macrophages that roam around and scavenge up any free radicals like this oxidative iron. The second is a lining on the walls (called the epithelial surface) which has a thin layer of fluid packed with high levels of antioxidant molecules.. things like abscorbic acid (AKA Vitamin C) among others. Well, this is usually good enough for naturally occurring rogue iron ions but with COVID-19 running rampant your body is now basically like a progressive state letting out all the prisoners out of the prisons… it’s just too much iron and it begins to overwhelm your lungs’ countermeasures, and thus begins the process of pulmonary oxidative stress. This leads to damage and inflammation, which leads to all that nasty stuff and damage you see in CT scans of COVID-19 patient lungs. Ever noticed how it’s always bilateral? (both lungs at the same time) Pneumonia rarely ever does that, but COVID-19 does… EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    — — — — — — — — — — — — –

    Once your body is now running out of control, with all your oxygen trucks running around without any freight, and tons of this toxic form of iron floating around in your bloodstream, other defenses kick in. While your lungs are busy with all this oxidative stress they can’t handle, and your organs are being starved of o2 without their constant stream of deliveries from red blood cell’s hemoglobin, and your liver is attempting to do its best to remove the iron and store it in its ‘iron vault’. Only its getting overwhelmed too. It’s starved for oxygen and fighting a losing battle from all your hemoglobin letting its iron free, and starts crying out “help, I’m taking damage!” by releasing an enzyme called alanine aminotransferase (ALT). BOOM, there is your second of 3 primary indicators of whether the shit is about to hit the fan for a particular patient or not.

    Eventually, if the patient’s immune system doesn’t fight off the virus in time before their blood oxygen saturation drops too low, ventilator or no ventilator, organs start shutting down. No fuel, no work. The only way to even try to keep them going is max oxygen, even a hyperbaric chamber if one is available on 100% oxygen at multiple atmospheres of pressure, just to give what’s left of their functioning hemoglobin a chance to carry enough o2 to the organs and keep them alive. Yeah we don’t have nearly enough of those chambers, so some fresh red blood cells with normal hemoglobin in the form of a transfusion will have to do.

    The core point being, treating patients with the iron ions stripped from their hemoglobin (rendering it abnormally nonfunctional) with ventilator intubation is futile, unless you’re just hoping the patient’s immune system will work its magic in time. The root of the illness needs to be addressed.

    Best case scenario? Treatment regimen early, before symptoms progress too far. Hydroxychloroquine (more on that in a minute, I promise) with Azithromicin has shown fantastic, albeit critics keep mentioning ‘anecdotal’ to describe the mountain, promise and I’ll explain why it does so well next. But forget straight-up plasma with antibodies, that might work early but if the patient is too far gone they’ll need more. They’ll need all the blood: antibodies and red blood cells. No help in sending over a detachment of ammunition to a soldier already unconscious and bleeding out on the battlefield, you need to send that ammo along with some hemoglobin-stimulant-magic so that he can wake up and fire those shots at the enemy.

    The story with Hydroxychloroquine
    All that hilariously misguided and counterproductive criticism the media piled on chloroquine (purely for political reasons) as a viable treatment will now go down as the biggest Fake News blunder to rule them all. The media actively engaged their activism to fight ‘bad orange man’ at the cost of thousands of lives. Shame on them.

    How does chloroquine work? Same way as it does for malaria. You see, malaria is this little parasite that enters the red blood cells and starts eating hemoglobin as its food source. The reason chloroquine works for malaria is the same reason it works for COVID-19 — while not fully understood, it is suspected to bind to DNA and interfere with the ability to work magic on hemoglobin. The same mechanism that stops malaria from getting its hands on hemoglobin and gobbling it up seems to do the same to COVID-19 (essentially little snippets of DNA in an envelope) from binding to it. On top of that, Hydroxychloroquine (an advanced descendant of regular old chloroquine) lowers the pH which can interfere with the replication of the virus. Again, while the full details are not known, the entire premise of this potentially ‘game changing’ treatment is to prevent hemoglobin from being interfered with, whether due to malaria or COVID-19.

    No longer can the media and armchair pseudo-physicians sit in their little ivory towers, proclaiming “DUR so stoopid, malaria is bacteria, COVID-19 is virus, anti-bacteria drug no work on virus!”. They never got the memo that a drug doesn’t need to directly act on the pathogen to be effective. Sometimes it’s enough just to stop it from doing what it does to hemoglobin, regardless of the means it uses to do so.

    Anyway, enough of the rant. What’s the end result here? First, the ventilator emergency needs to be re-examined. If you’re putting a patient on a ventilator because they’re going into a coma and need mechanical breathing to stay alive, okay we get it. Give ’em time for their immune systems to pull through. But if they’re conscious, alert, compliant — keep them on O2. Max it if you have to. If you HAVE to inevitably ventilate, do it at low pressure but max O2. Don’t tear up their lungs with max PEEP, you’re doing more harm to the patient because you’re treating the wrong disease.

    Ideally, some form of treatment needs to happen to:

    Inhibit viral growth and replication. Here plays CHQ+ZPAK+ZINC or other retroviral therapies being studies. Less virus, less hemoglobin losing its iron, less severity and damage.
    Therapies used for anyone with abnormal hemoglobin or malfunctioning red blood cells. Blood transfusions. Whatever, I don’t know the full breadth and scope because I’m not a physician. But think along those lines, and treat the real disease. If you’re thinking about giving them plasma with antibodies, maybe if they’re already in bad shape think again and give them BLOOD with antibodies, or at least blood followed by plasma with antibodies.
    Now that we know more about how this virus works and affects our bodies, a whole range of options should open up.
    Don’t trust China. China is ASSHOE. (disclaimer: not talking about the people, just talking about the regime). They covered this up and have caused all kinds of death and carnage, both literal and economic. The ripples of this pandemic will be felt for decades.
    Fini.

    • It is customary to place words not one’s own in quotation marks, and to name the original author, or at the very least post a link to the source, or both.
      Do just post it like that is very unethical.
      Someone else wrote that, and they deserve to be named.
      Just sayin’.

      BTW way nearly every word of that post is malarkey, flat out untrue, misstated, pulled out of thin air, silly, ridiculous, complete nonsense, or a combination of these.
      It is far too ridiculous to bother going through and debunking line by line, but anyone who gives it any credence demonstrates their complete ignorance of every relevant medical and scientific discipline.

      • Ok so let me be specific. I thought I was clear enough that I didn’t write it, to not need to block quote basically the entire post, which I did copy verbatim. I post very infrequently so I’m not familiar with wordpress formatting commands. The source of it vanished, and is only accessible from the way back machine (I think that’s what it’s called), which is why there was no source web site originally. Also I wanted people to see the text as only a fraction of them might click the link.

        The author identified themselves as libertymavenstock which is included right below the title, but not apparent again because I did not edit it at all. Here is the link through way back (hopefully it is formatted correctly, sorry if it isn’t):
        http://web.archive.org/web/20200405061401/https://medium.com/@agaiziunas/covid-19-had-us-all-fooled-but-now-we-might-have-finally-found-its-secret-91182386efcb

        Instead of painting it with a broad brush why don’t you provide some examples of what is false. As a non-medical person I have no idea but a lot of it sounds plausible. Let me be specific:
        1) is the notion that people die from hypoxia false?
        2) is the notion that the virus can knock out the iron atom in hemoglobin false?
        3) is the notion that there is a lot of spare iron floating around in the lungs due to the virus which causes the nasty looking ct scans false?
        4) is the notion that people could have a lot of non-functional hemoglobin in their blood false?
        5) have people with severe cases been given full blood transfusions to replace part of their hemoglobin, and what were the (presumably limited) results?
        6) is the general mechanism that the author used to describe the action of hydroxychloroquine correct or not?

        As noted in the original post, myself and some others were looking for these types of answers. Hopefully someone with more of a medical background can give a bit more detail as to why this is plausible or not. Thanks!

        • “I thought I was clear enough that I didn’t write it, to not need to block quote basically the entire post, which I did copy verbatim. I post very infrequently so I’m not familiar with wordpress formatting commands.”

          All one needs to do is place quote marks before and after the quoted passages.
          No need for elaborate block quotes, although one can do so if they wish.
          The idea is to delineate when your words begin and end and the words you are borrowing from some source are also identifiable as to when they begin and end.
          block quotes make it more readily evident, but anyone looking closely can discern the quote marks which are a part of every keyboard.
          Just as I have done at the top with your words.
          Hope this helps.

      • @NMG

        It is far too ridiculous to bother going through and debunking line by line,

        But it would be a good way to prove the text wrong, else your comment is 100% worthless.

        • No, pointing out BS is not worthless.
          Sorry you were not able to spot any of the many absolutely false items that literally make no sense whatsoever.
          It is gibberish and contains ample clues any observant layperson ought to immediately spot.
          At the very least, anyone with a lick of sense ought to realize every single doctor in the world is not completely wrong about basic physiology, but this silly fake blog post is the only one in the world who knows anything about medicine.

          Do me a favor, next time give me the benefit of the doubt as the guy that told you this was nonsense.

      • At least some of the points Bescrambled’s (libertymavenstock’s) is supported by a recent Medcram video.

        The fact that you’ve dismissed the whole comment suggests you’ve not given it reasonable consideration.

        • “The fact that you’ve dismissed the whole comment suggests you’ve not given it reasonable consideration”
          No, it means I know enough to have immediately discerned it is nonsense.

      • Congrats.
        You have just endorsed literal nonsense.
        Actual made up gibberish.

        I did not have to look anything up…it does not even make any sense.
        I am serious.

        “In recent days, I’ve had a number of people ask me for my thoughts on a now-deleted Medium blog post entitled “Covid-19 had us all fooled, but now we might have finally found its secret.” It seems that, even following its deletion, this post has become widely shared in an archived form, largely by people who seem to entirely accept its premise. That premise, to be very brief, is essentially that the SARS-CoV-2 virus harms patients entirely through its interactions with the oxygen transport protein hemoglobin (Hb). A Google search for the title will still turn up the post, should you wish to read (or re-read) it.
        A bit about me, and why people have sent me this blog post: in December 2019, I completed my MD degree at the University of Pittsburgh through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD program). As part of that same program, I spent 4 years completing a PhD in Bioengineering; the focus of my dissertation was the molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology of mammalian heme globins. As a result, I’ve spent the last 7+ years at the intersection of clinical medicine and heme globin research and felt compelled to offer my perspective on this blog post. I’ve been assisted in writing this piece by Drs. Anthony DeMartino, PhD and Matt Dent, PhD, both postdoctoral scholars in the lab where I completed my PhD and both ten times better chemists than I could ever hope to be.
        But back to the post: the Medium blog post in question simultaneously puts forth two related narratives, one “scientific” (or at least presented to give that appearance) and one clinical. Both are told with an overriding tone of authority and certainty; unfortunately, both are also almost entirely incorrect in their overall conclusions and the specific details used to support those conclusions. As is so often the case, refuting this sort of misinformation requires a good deal more effort (and words) than propagating it, but we have done our best to address everything.
        The Purportedly “Scientific” Narrative
        Before getting into the details, I want to take a brief aside to describe hemoglobin. A single hemoglobin protein consists of two parts: heme (which itself is made up of a small chemical ring called a porphyrin + an iron atom in the center), and the globin, a large protein that holds the heme. The hemoglobin molecule in our red blood cells is actually comprised of four hemes and their four respective proteins (two alpha proteins and two beta) that are linked together to form a tetramer. In each of these chains, the heme is surrounded by its respective protein, which forms a small space referred to as the “heme pocket” around the heme. This pocket is just large enough to accommodate oxygen, carbon monoxide, and other small molecules that bind to the heme iron.
        The blog post’s “scientific” narrative begins with the SARS-CoV-2 virus entering red blood cells (RBCs). Once inside the RBCs, the post states that the virus rapidly removes the iron from RBC hemoglobin molecules, leading to 1) depletion of functional hemoglobin (with the virus bound to its porphyrin ring) and 2) accumulation of toxic iron in the bloodstream. All of the clinical manifestations of Covid-19 are subsequently attributed to this process, despite the fact that there’s effectively no evidence to support such a mechanism of viral entry into RBCs and interaction with hemoglobin. Alarmingly, the blog post relies on a series of assumptions that have little to no support within the current scientific literature.
        First, it is unclear that the virus enters red blood cells at all. Reviewing the currently published literature, I am unable to find any evidence for significant SARS-CoV-2 entry into red blood cells. While it is possible that interactions between the virus and RBCs may have been overlooked (the majority of research has understandably focused on lung disease), there is currently no evidence to suggest that red blood cells are a significant site of virus localization or replication. If the hypothesis is that most of this virus’s toxic effect arises from interactions with Hb, documenting viral entry into RBCs would be an important first step.
        That said, we do have some idea of where this virus is going. For example, one study examined lung tissue samples from a patient who died of Covid-19 and found results consistent with diffuse alveolar damage (damage to the small air sacs in the lungs where gas exchange occurs) [1]. The same study found that the virus itself localized primarily to the epithelial cells lining those same alveoli. While RBCs appear to have been washed out before the tissue samples were examined (leaving empty blood vessels), the blood vessels themselves, as well as the tissue between the air sacs, showed little to no virus. Overall, the study suggests that the virus, and the resultant damage, are found primarily in the lung alveoli.
        The blog post author presumes that the virus does enter RBCs, and that viral “glycoproteins bond to the heme, and in doing so that special and toxic oxidative iron ion is ‘disassociated’ (released).” This spurious claim, for which the blog post author provides no evidence, seems to derive from a misinterpretation of a recent preprint of a paper in ChemRxiv. This pre-print manuscript proposes a possible mechanism for the virus to “attack” (a term they never define) hemoglobin and release the heme from the protein [2]. While the blog post author does not cite this work (or any other work, for that matter), the conclusions and language are similar enough that it seems very likely the scientific paper inspired the blog post.
        On a close reading, the ChemRxiv paper is itself seriously flawed, and provides nothing that I or my colleagues consider meaningful evidence of a mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 could “attack” hemoglobin. I do plan to work on a second piece further discussing the problems with this paper, but for now, here is a summary of that work: the authors claim to provide evidence that certain viral proteins can bind to isolated porphyrin (without the iron and not bound to any protein). They also argue that the virus may somehow force the heme out of the protein, and subsequently the iron out of the heme, to allow this sort of binding. This is all based on rather rudimentary analysis, relying solely on protein sequence similarity and questionable modeling of molecular docking. Notably, the work was entirely performed in silico (via computer models), which is usually an initial screening step that has to be verified with in vitro (experimental, e.g., in a test tube or petri dish) data. The authors themselves state in their abstract that “[t]his paper is only for academic discussion, the correctness needs to be confirmed by other laboratories”. Aside from this introductory disclaimer, the authors do a poor job of qualifying their results and emphasizing the highly preliminary nature of their work. It is easy to see how a reader without a healthy dose of scientific skepticism could overinterpret the results given the strong language used throughout the manuscript.
        Nevertheless, the Medium blog post seems to take this questionable work as hard truth and proceeds to extend the conclusion several steps further, claiming that the virus will go right into the heme pocket and replace the intact heme iron, all while the porphyrin remains bound to the protein. Beyond the questionable evidence for virus binding the porphyrin at all, the issue here is that the heme/porphyrin is still in the heme pocket, a space barely large enough for two-atom molecules like oxygen (O2). Despite that, the blog post author seems to believe the virus (which is larger than the entire hemoglobin protein) will be able to enter the pocket, kick out the iron, and bind the porphyrin while leaving the porphyrin and protein otherwise totally intact. To put it charitably, this would be an entirely novel and seemingly impossible sort of chemistry, and there is absolutely no scientific evidence that supports such a possibility. It’s this seemingly impossible interaction that forms the foundation of the blog post’s entire argument, and so the remainder of the conclusions drawn by the blogger simply don’t carry any weight.
        The clinical story
        From here, using this faulty scientific narrative as a basis, the author creates an equally faulty narrative of the clinical progression of the disease. The failure of the scientific narrative largely invalidates the subsequent clinical narrative, which is almost entirely based on that faulty science. Thus, rather than pick apart the entire clinical model, I’m going to highlight some key points that I want to refute specifically. First, while this narrative is a bit more difficult to follow, I will attempt to summarize it herein.
        The blog post suggests (paraphrasing here outside of direct quotes): As the patient’s Hb loses iron, that patient will desaturate (lose oxygen from their hemoglobin). This desaturation has nothing to do with lung dysfunction as “there is no ‘pneumonia’ nor ARDS” and “the patient’s lungs aren’t ‘tiring out’, they’re pumping just fine. The red blood cells just can’t carry [oxygen], end of story”. The free iron that has been released overwhelms the lung’s defense mechanisms against this toxic free iron, leading to bilateral lung damage, which is held to be significant by the author because “Pneumonia rarely ever does that [causes damage in both lungs], but COVID-19 does… EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.”
        Again, this probably sounds like a compelling, reasonable series of events to a lay person. In reality, it is essentially nonsense built upon a deeply flawed understanding of physiology and pathophysiology. Some key points, and my responses:
        Blog post says: Patients desaturate as their hemoglobin loses iron
        Reality: Even if the virus were to eject the iron from hemoglobin (which it almost certainly does not), it would not likely result in a measurable desaturation. Saturation is most commonly measured via pulse oximetry (pulseox), which uses light to differentiate Hb with oxygen from Hb without oxygen. Both these forms of Hb, however, have the iron present, and most clinical pulse oximeters only work when these two forms — and only these two forms — of Hb are present [3]. A novel form of Hb with the virus in place of the iron would absorb light very differently from either of these forms, and such a protein (if it could exist) would almost certainly result in incomprehensible pulseox readings, not a desaturation.
        Even ignoring these technical aspects, a far more likely explanation for a measured desaturation in Covid-19 patients would be inadequate oxygenation of the blood due to lung disease/damage (which we know is present). Indeed, we know that Covid-19 patients who are oxygenating poorly respond to supplemental oxygen, as the author seems to acknowledge when suggesting oxygen as a therapy. Improvement with more oxygen effectively rules out iron loss as a cause of this desaturation, as providing more oxygen will increase oxygen binding to normal Hb with intact iron but could not put iron back into Hb that had lost it.
        Blog post says: Release of iron from Hb is the source of all observed pathology in Covid-19, including bilateral lung damage, which pneumonia “rarely ever” causes.
        Reality: There’s simply no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to the large-scale release of iron from Hb, or that such release would be sufficient to overwhelm the body’s numerous mechanisms for regulation of free iron. Even if it did, however, I’m unable to find evidence that pure iron overload (in the absence of other pathologies) leads to significant lung damage, much less the bilateral pneumonia-like pattern seen in many Covid-19 patients [4]. In contrast, bilateral lung damage is actually a fairly common manifestation of pneumonia caused by viral infections [5].
        Blog post says: “There is no ‘pneumonia’ nor ARDS. At least not the ARDS with established treatment protocols and procedures we’re familiar with.”
        Reality: Both are clearly present. The clinical picture, despite what the author might think, is generally consistent with viral pneumonia, and progression to ARDS has been well-documented. One study in China found that, out of 201 patients with confirmed Covid-19, roughly 42% developed a clinical picture consistent with ARDS [6]. The mortality rate among these patients was over 52%, while there were no deaths among those that did not develop ARDS. The blog post may be somewhat correct about the resultant ARDS being atypical. There is a letter out of Northern Italy suggesting that ARDS arising from Covid-19 may not require or could even be harmed by high-pressure mechanical ventilation [7], but this same letter suggests that intubation and mechanical ventilation without high pressures should be prioritized for patients who are struggling to breathe, not avoided as suggested in the blog post.
        Suggested treatments
        Finally, and perhaps most troublingly, the author of the blog post, who has no medical background, suggests a number of therapies for their imagined mechanism of this disease.
        Treatment 1: “Max oxygen”, or hyperbaric chamber with 100% O2 at multiple atmospheres of pressure
        It’s unclear what the author thinks this would achieve. If their model of virus-induced hemoglobin dysfunction via iron loss is true (it isn’t, but if it was), the affected Hb absolutely CANNOT bind oxygen. Providing more oxygen, via a ventilator or a hyperbaric chamber, would not magically put the iron back in Hb. To take a generous interpretation, the author may be suggesting that free iron eventually causes lung damage, which subsequently prevents oxygen from getting into the blood, even though our current understanding is that this damage is in fact caused by the virus and our immune response. Regardless of the source of lung damage, however, intubation and mechanical ventilation remains the standard of care in critically ill patients with hypoxic respiratory failure, as even the report of atypical ARDS from Italy suggests [7].
        EDIT, 04/13/2020: A reader, Dr. Merveldt-Guevara, brought to my attention that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) likely would benefit patients with iron loss from Hb by allowing more oxygen to be dissolved directly in the blood without binding to hemoglobin. She is absolutely correct about this, and I want to thank her for setting me straight. While there remains no compelling reason to suspect such iron loss, HBOT is well-documented to increase the amount of oxygen that reaches the blood, and thus may have therapeutic potential for these patients even if their Hb remains entirely normal. I have reached out to some far more qualified colleagues for their opinions on this, and will update if I hear back.
        Treatment 2: Blood transfusion with “normal hemoglobin”
        The blog post is correct that a transfusion of donor red blood cells (or whole blood) would temporarily increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. However, beyond the blog post’s unfounded assertions, I can find no case reports or any other data suggesting that profound anemia or loss of oxygen carrying capacity exacerbates the effects of Covid-19 in patients, and so there’s no reason to believe a transfusion of RBCs would result in clinical improvement.
        Even if the author were correct, a red blood cell transfusion would likely do more harm than good after a brief initial improvement. For example, we know that some degree of hemolysis (RBC destruction) occurs during storage of blood and after transfusion, eventually leading to release of toxic byproducts such as free heme. Furthermore, if the core premise of the blog post is accepted, the transfused RBCs would also have their Hb attacked by the virus, negating any increase in oxygen carrying capacity and worsening the accumulation of iron in the blood. A transfusion, if we accept the author’s argument about hemoglobin and iron, amounts to throwing logs onto a raging fire, claiming you’re putting the fire out because those logs haven’t burned up yet, and then watching the fire grow bigger as it consumes those logs as well.
        Just to clarify, there is some evidence in favor of a plasma transfusion from recovered Covid-19 patients, as the antibodies contained therein can augment the recipient’s immune function.The blog post, however, seems very dismissive of this therapy, suggesting it would be ineffective without a simultaneous transfusion of red blood cells despite the lack of any evidence to support this claim.
        Treatment 3: Hydroxychloroquine
        The author of the blog post also recommends early treatment with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which in their words is “…suspected to bind to DNA and interfere with the ability to work magic on hemoglobin”. A preface: I am not making a broader claim here about the effectiveness of HCQ in Covid-19, which remains under investigation. But this author’s specific arguments about HCQ do not stand up to scrutiny.
        For example, I’m not sure where the author found this “suspected” mechanism of action. The true mechanism of action of HCQ and other quinoline-based anti-malaria drugs has been studied extensively. It is known that these drugs prevent the malaria parasite from sequestering free heme (the result of hemoglobin consumption) in food vacuoles, where the toxic heme molecules are normally converted to relatively harmless, crystalline deposits of hemozoin [8]. Importantly, HCQ does not prevent the release of toxic iron from heme, nor does the drug prevent an interaction with hemoglobin (the protein component of which is still consumed by the parasite). Instead, HCQ disrupts formation of the inert hemozoin crystals, thereby allowing the accumulation of toxic heme (porphyrin and iron together), which causes oxidative damage that ultimately kills the parasite.
        Also, the virus is a protein envelope surrounding a length of coding RNA (it’s an RNA virus) and contains literally not a single piece of DNA anywhere, so a DNA binding mechanism would have no relevance here. Even beyond this virus, I cannot find anything suggesting DNA binding is a significant mediator of HCQ’s effects on malaria, autoimmunity, or any other disease state. Its primary effect is thought to occur in lysosomes/food vacuoles, where it prevents acidification as a weak base and may otherwise inhibit hemozoin formation (in malaria) and antigen presentation/immune activation (in autoimmune disease) [9, 10]. As a final thought, HCQ being a weak base means that the author’s statement that it “lowers the pH which can interfere with the replication of the virus” is certainly incorrect, as it is a base and thus would prevent lowering of pH (acidification).
        Final Thoughts
        The above discussion is by no means an exhaustive list of the blog post’s incorrect statements or conclusions. Nonetheless, I hope it has been sufficient to make clear that the blog post, and even the scientific article that likely inspired it, should not be viewed as a source of any meaningful insight into SARS-CoV-2, how it affects patients, or how the virus might be treated. What I still don’t know is why the blog post author, under a pseudonym, chose to present such an incorrect description of this disease and the underlying pathophysiology with such confidence. That they would go so far as to suggest treatments for the disease despite a lack of any medical training, and in virtually the same paragraph condemn “armchair pseudo-physicians” who push incorrect information, is truly mind-boggling. Tragically, whether it arises from genuine malice, unfounded arrogance, or just simple ignorance, this sort of misinformation about a deadly pandemic can genuinely put lives at risk, and it’s up to those of us who work in this field to fight back against it in whatever way we can.
        Finally, while I’ve been very critical of this blog post author, I do have to give them credit for making one very insightful comment, right near the end, that I want to single out for praise:
        “Whatever, I don’t know the full breadth and scope because I’m not a physician.”
        On this, at least, we can agree.”

        https://medium.com/@amdahl/covid-19-debunking-the-hemoglobin-story-ce27773d1096

        Sorry you all.
        AC Osborn, Bescrambled.
        You see, I actually know stuff.
        Any of you who have read my posts here for years and years, including months on this topic, who think I am just guessing about anything I post, ever, at all, simply do not know enough to know what you do not know.
        And when someone does.
        In less time than you wrote disparaging comments to me, you could have read it and thought for a minute, or checked.

        It is literal nonsense.

      • My first response is in moderation.
        “Covid-19: Debunking the Hemoglobin Story”
        “That they would go so far as to suggest treatments for the disease despite a lack of any medical training, and in virtually the same paragraph condemn “armchair pseudo-physicians” who push incorrect information, is truly mind-boggling. Tragically, whether it arises from genuine malice, unfounded arrogance, or just simple ignorance, this sort of misinformation about a de@dly pandemic can genuinely put lives at risk, and it’s up to those of us who work in this field to fight back against it in whatever way we can.
        Finally, while I’ve been very critical of this blog post author, I do have to give them credit for making one very insightful comment, right near the end, that I want to single out for praise:
        “Whatever, I don’t know the full breadth and scope because I’m not a physician.”
        On this, at least, we can agree.”
        https://medium.com/@amdahl/covid-19-debunking-the-hemoglobin-story-ce27773d1096

  18. Truth BOMB NOTICE. If you prefer your fake crisis status do not read any further.
    German study of a town of 12,000 where the initial known infection rate was 0.1% did a random sampling of 1000 people in the city. It found that 14% of the population previously had and recovered from and that an additional 2% were currently infected with the Chinese Kung Flu.
    This means that 140 times as many people as previously known had the disease, were not sick enough to be tested and that even currently 20 times as many people have the disease and are not sick enough to be tested. Germany has done 2 times as many tests as the United States has on a per capita basis.
    If Applied to the United States of America where we have 18,850 deaths and 505,000 confirmed cases that would come out to 70,700,000 who have already been infected, 141,400,000 if our per capita testing is also calculated in. And we would have 10,100,000 actually sick right now at this moment. Using the first figure of 70 million and extrapolated to the entire nation at large of 330,000,000 people would come out to 80,000 potential deaths. MAXIMUM.
    And just for those of you who are under the impression that a lockdown saves lives. The only thing that a lockdown does is spread the deaths over a longer period of time. The only life saving is if you believe that the health care system is going to be overwhelmed and there will be excess deaths due to a limitation on being able to care for the sick. Looking at the numbers, except in certain places, such as New York City where the vast majority of the population lives in high rises, and ride busses and subway cars crammed elbow to elbow, the health care systems are going to be fine, and in places such as New York City, the living style and population density and the fact that 19 of 20 carriers are asymptomatic means the lockdown cannot possibly work and thus cannot really flatten the curve. New York City numbers are improving because such a large percentage of their population has already had the disease that it has hit its limit and is now on the downward side of the epi curve.
    The fact that 20 times as many have the disease as who test positive indicates that the disease has a 95% asymptomatic rate. 19 out of 20 people do not know they are sick at all. Only an absolute starvation inducing lockdown would prevent the spread of this disease. The current lockdown is probably not even reducing the spread by 1%.
    By the way, New York City has probably already reached the lower bound of herd immunity and has 20% of its population infected right now at the moment while it is locked down.
    So, lets look at the value of a lockdown. The point of a lock down is to supposedly flatten the curve so that the sick do not overwhelm the medical facilities available. That has value in places like New York where a virus would spread extremely quickly. People live in and work in tight ventilated high rise buildings with thousands of others and commute on busses and subway cars packed up to hundreds elbow to elbow and in places where thousands of people have been in the last 24 hours. In a place like that, it would be beneficial to slow the spread of the disease. But here is the catch 22. Because people live in and work in tight ventilated high rise buildings with thousands of others and commute on busses and subway cars packed up to hundreds elbow to elbow and in places where thousands of people have been in the last 24 hours only the most draconian type of lockdown would have any effect at all. Social distancing would not do anything. Shutting down a few nonessential businesses would do almost nothing. Basically shutting everything down, including grocery stores and locking people in their homes would work. You would need to have someone in hazmat suits delivering their food to them and using massive portable infrared lights to disinfect the delivery just before it is shoved through the door. Then you might flatten the curve.

    • Important to note that the reason they tested this town out of all towns is because they had several carnivals and festivals after the infection was known to have begun to spread>
      It was NOT just some random town.

      ““To me it looks like we don’t yet have a large fraction of the population exposed,” says Nicholas Christakis, a doctor and social science researcher at Yale University. “They had carnivals and festivals, but only 14% are positive. That means there is a lot more to go even in a hard-hit part of Germany.””

      https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/04/09/999015/blood-tests-show-15-of-people-are-now-immune-to-covid-19-in-one-town-in-germany/

      • “They had carnivals and festivals, but only 14% are positive.”

        Which is odd, don’t you think, for something supposedly so highly infectious?

        • I am not making a practice of offering opinions out of ignorance.
          How about I speak for me, you speak for you?
          You think it odd.
          OK, got it.

    • The study used unreliable antibody tests that also detect other coronaviridae from cold inducing strains resulting in a high false positive number.

      Best CFR estimate at the moment is still South Korea of about 2%.

  19. Excuse me? I don’t know why this has the normally sane Lord Monckton so spooked and hysterical – but the US death count (per Willis’s data) stands at 16,682 – not 19,000.

    Also, since the CDC has admitted to using Italian arithmetic, applying the Italian adjustment makes the actual US death count from Covid-19 = 2,002.

      • And I am over 50 and have diabetes, another high risk group. One of the higher ones… I just understand that my life has value, but not infinite value that I should ask the society at large to dispense tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in a futile effort save me from getting sick and possibly dying.

        • I am also over 50 and have what appears to be about an 8% chance of getting a bad spin on the COVID roulette wheel.
          I do not expect anyone to stay home to protect me, or anyone else.
          I do not know why anyone who wanted to be at work would not be, if their boss was still opened for business.
          Except for one thing: I do not want to take an 8% chance of getting viral pneumonia and possibly dying, or even possibly just being really extremely sick in an ICU then pulling through.
          Nope…not me that you very much.
          Fine with me what anyone else wants to do.
          But I am not going to tell anyone they should be less careful about the fate than I am being.
          I am not gonna tell anyone to go the heck back the work because my stocks are going down in value.
          Not gonna do that either.
          Not wanting to get really gosh darn sick is not hysterical.
          It is as rational as it gets.

      • In response to the repellent and furtively anonymous “astonerii”, who presumes to make diagnosis of my physical health condition without having a medical qualification and without having examined the patient, and to make that diagnosis public, his comment to the effect that I am suffering from a particular condition is in flagrant breach of site policy on two counts – speculation about the medical condition of a named person and a personal assault on that named person from someone too cowardly to reveal hsi or her or its identity – and I must insist that Anthony and the moderators take it down forthwith.

        • …and a personal assault on that named person from someone too cowardly to reveal hsi or her or its identity…

          These threads are full of you making sneering, unfounded personal assaults on contributors.

          This “anonymity” tripe you wheel out is pathetic. This site is happy for users to use pseudonyms (speaking out against climate change and other issues can cost some of us our jobs). So long as the identity remains consistent it is sufficient for these communications (especially if, as in my case, the associated email is genuine for contact by the site admin).

          If you’re happy to dish out the cheap debate tactics of the likes of Michael Heseltine, you’ll just have to take it.

        • Allen Stoner II therefore astonerii, and I have an email attached to this so that the site operator can confirm who I am. I am not cowardly. My wife is. She would actually have me make up something that has 0 identifying characteristics in the name.

    • In response to “Writing Observer”, the intelligence that I obtain on numbers of cases and of deaths is more up to date than that of my good friend Mr Eschenbach.

      Nor is it legitimate to characterize my series of articles here as “hysterical”. They are rooted in such data as are available, and fairly reflect both sides of the argument between the activists and the passivists: for instance, the daily graphs include data from Sweden and South Korea, where there have been no strict lockdowns, as well as countries that have such lockdowns. I have avoided making predictions, and have calmly pointed out that responsible governments have had to introduce lockdowns so as to protect their healthcare systems and hospitals from being overwhelmed. As soon as that objective has been secured – and we are well on the way to that – the lockdowns will be progressively dismantled, and as rapidly as possible. Where is the “hysteria” in that?

      • Your articles are NOT rooted. They quote data then make conclusions. Like climate “science” and pollution “science” and vaccine “science”.

  20. Dread Lord Monckton wrote:
    “For instance, in the United States, where a passivist confidently told me only last week that there would be only 10,000 deaths in total, there have been 19,000 deaths already, of which more than 2000 occurred only yesterday.”
    Well, well, there you have it folks… The reason that lockdowns and destroyed lives are necessary.
    If you would have listened to my confident prediction you would know that I predicted a 0.05+/-0.03% infection fatality ratio for the disease. And low and behold, looking at the recent German study, it is likely to come in somewhere around 0.025% for a maximum mortality in the United States of 80,000 and I am sure you are one of the people who loves to decry this as an everyone disease, but for the most part 95% plus of all deaths are to the already sick and infirm and 95% are over the age of 50. With an average age of death calculated to 74.48 years. Compared to a national average of 78.69 years. The United States has 8 deaths to people 0-24 years of age. And I would not be surprised to learn that they really died from something else, but just tested positive and wallah Chinese Kung Flu killed them, we swears it!

  21. Sensors are in full kill alternative views mode today! I guess every day for this used to be open website.

    • Never mind, you can kill this post, for some reason my prior post disappeared for a while and several others ones.

      • Yeah, that’s because it hadn’t been posted publicly yet. Some browsers seem to display your pending post and then if you close out and go back in, you see what the public sees.

  22. and of course bear in mind with your figures- how many are misdiagnosed?

    “The President of the German Robert Koch Institute confirmed on March 20, 2020 that test-positive deceased are counted as “corona deaths” regardless of the real cause of death: “We consider a corona death to be someone who has been diagnosed with a coronavirus infection was, «said the RKI President when asked by a journalist (see video below).

    According to experts, the number of deaths is severely relativized, since the patients die in many cases from their previous illnesses and not from the virus. Data from Italy show that over 99% of the deceased had one or more chronic medical conditions, including cancer and heart problems, and only 12% mentioned the coronavirus on the death certificate as a cofactor.

    A look at the statistics of the German test-positive deaths shows that the median age of the deceased, similar to Italy, is over 80 years and that there were usually one or more serious previous illnesses. The so-called over-mortality caused by Covid-19 is therefore likely to be close to or close to zero in Germany, similar to other European countries.

    The German virologist Hendrik Streeck gave the example of a 78-year-old, previously ill man who died of heart failure without lung involvement, but was subsequently tested positive for Covid19 and included in the statistics of Covid19 deaths. Streeck suspects that Covid19 will not lead to over-mortality in Germany by the end of the year.

    A recent French study found that “Covid-19 is likely to overestimate the problem” because “Covid-19’s mortality is not significantly different from ordinary coronaviruses (common cold viruses) tested in a hospital in France.” Studies come to a similar conclusion even for the city of Wuhan.

    Internationally recognized experts such as the president of the World Medical Association Frank Montgomery, Yale professor David Katz or Mainz professor Sucharit Bhakdi are therefore calling for radical measures such as curfews to be lifted quickly. These are counterproductive and would ultimately kill more people than the virus itself. Risk groups should be protected”

    Vs Neil Ferguson – “Several researchers have apparently asked to see Imperial’s calculations, but Prof. Neil Ferguson, the man leading the team, has said that the computer code is 13 years old and thousands of lines of it “undocumented,” making it hard for anyone to work with, let alone take it apart to identify potential errors. He has promised that it will be published in a week or so, but in the meantime reasonable people might wonder whether something made with 13-year-old, undocumented computer code should be used to justify shutting down the economy. Meanwhile, the authors of the Oxford model have promised that their code will be published “as soon as possible.”

    Believe Neil and we have to believe Michael Mann.

    • I am of the opinion that it is very likely all cause mortality will be way down for the year, because of the reaction.
      This is not an indictment of the reaction, but an acknowledgement that it changed what would have happened had there been no reaction.
      For one thing, hardly anyone is driving, so few driving deaths.
      Some guys just drove from New York to LA in about 26 hours, smashing the old Cannonball Run record.
      Average speed if they took the most direct route would have been over 100 mph.
      Empty roads mean over people out driving are much safer than usual.
      Other accidents are surely way down too.
      As are drug overdoses, crime related deaths (crime is down sharply all over the planet! I predicted this weeks ago right here), and I am guessing people sitting at home taking vitamins and eating less because they are steering clear of stores, are less likely to have a heart attack or a stroke, and that what is being done has curbed transmission of other communicable diseases perhaps ever better than the one we are trying not to get.
      In fact, I am thinking that hundreds of millions of people suddenly being careful about their health and not going out much and paying attention to staying alive…will succeed in just that…staying alive.
      In the long run maybe a lot of it will even out…the strokes and heart attacks and long term chronic illnesses at least.
      But some others may stay lower for a long time, maybe forever, because I do not recall ever a time when people were so focused on protecting their health in my life.
      Waaaay back in one of the first WUWT posts on this disease, I am pretty sure I was the first one who broke out the CDC mortality stats, posted them by category, and opined that the likely long term effect may well be a drop in the number of elderly folks in the world, especially unhealthy ones. And maybe a lot less cigarette fiends as well.
      I have modified that view somewhat, as I never saw this staying and home and closing up shop on the world dealio coming.
      And I think also some additional statistical evidence has emerged that mostly old and sick people are not surviving, but a proportion of the deaths are people that would not have died anytime soon.
      But as detailed at the outset of this overly long post, there will also clearly be some folks who would have died that have not.
      And it may far outweigh the deaths from COVID.

      If no one did anything different, the deaths from COVID would certainly be more, and the people who have not died, because they stayed at home and took vitamin D and C all day while binge watching The Gilmore Girls…would instead have kicked the bucket too.

      • People not doing any physical exercice, over eating junk food from stress, and not drinking any wine, is good now?

        LOL

        • Yeah, that is what I said.
          Not.
          Making take some classes in reading comprehension.
          Or just read what people say.
          Where did you hallucinate I said any of those things you imagine?

    • It’s easy enough to get a handle on the numbers form a relatively simple S-I-R model. Ferguson’s model is likely more complex because it handles different intervention scenarios and handles a range of geographical locations.

      The Oxford model is meaningless. It basically fits a range of parameters to the death toll (March 19th) and spits out a very wide range of estimates of what proportion of the population are infected. To summarise their results:

      (a) With low mortality rate & high disease attack rate – lots of people are/have been infected
      (b) With high mortality rate & low attack rate – not many people are/have been infected.

      Thanks for that, Oxford.

      PS I suspect (a) is already implausible since the assumption was that the majority of the country had been infected (low mortality/high infection) & there had only been 144 deaths. There are now close to 10000 deaths.

  23. Lord mockton has been steadily walking back his extreme predictions re this coronavirus situation just look at his last post and the one before. He wants to save his reputation re climate calculations ~1.5c warming which I now believe to be complete bokum best of luck to him at least he has colorful languasge and has managed to entertain us for years/ This is a very nice kind man and I respect him.

    • Eliza is out of her depth here. Her comments have been, and continue to be, wild, immature and unsubstantiated. I made it plain from the start that I was not making predictions: merely publishing the available data in a form that allows an instant visual check on when we can bring lockdowns to an end. That the lockdowns were necessary is evident in the extreme pressure on hospital systems in countries such as the UK. As soon as it is clear that there is enough capacity to treat everyone likely to become seriously ill, the lockdowns will be progressively dismantled.

      As to Eliza’s childish speculation about my “wanting to save my reputation”, that is a characteristically pathetic and unjustifiable ad-hominem remark.

      The truth is that those of us who argued for timely control measures have been proven right; governments have acted on our advice; lives have been saved, perhaps by the million; and the likes of Eliza are furious. She is contemptible. And she snipes from behind a cowardy screen of anonymity.

  24. “For instance, in the United States, where a passivist confidently told me only last week that there would be only 10,000 deaths in total, there have been 19,000 deaths already, of which more than 2000 occurred only yesterday.” — CM of B

    From Oct 1, 2019 to Apr 6 the CDC estimates are from 39,000,000 -56,000,000 illnesses fore the standard old run-of-mill flu; 18,000,000 -26,000,000 medical visits; 410,000 -714,000 hospitalizations; 26,000 – 62,000 DEATHS. Now this is in America.

    There have been 207,000 deaths from Influenza in the last four flu seasons in America, combined totals… and nobody shut down economies. Or lock people down.

    TURN THE ECONOMY ON, THIS IS OLD FAKE NEWS AND WE HAVE DONE IT ALREADY. BACK AT CHRISTMAS 2019.

    “Chinese virus”: stop calling it a Chinese virus, your prejudice is showing, it was here in the USA in November of 2019.

    • Hi M.B. – I was in Calif. in Nov. Late in the month I had one of the mildest “flu” episodes for me & I usually only get cases that quickly resolve anyway.

      So far I’ve only read speculation this what-cha-ma-call-it virus was stateside in Nov. If you have a source for your assertion please let me/us know. (Maybe when testing gets readily available my results would be illustrative what my Nov. case was & could contribute some context.)

      • In response to Klem, we know that the Chinese virus has not been here for years because a) its genome was only sequenced for the first time in December/January; b) the genome, though 80% similar to other bat coronaviridae, is not identical to any other such pathogen; c) if it had been here for years the pattern of intensive care necessary to care for it would have become widely known; d) control measures would have been introduced.

    • Mr Burns makes the elementary mistake of assuming, on no evidence, that without control measures the Chinese virus would have been no worse than the annual flu. Figures from Britain’s intensive-care monitoring agency, published here yesterday, show that that is wholly false: the Chinese virus is considerably worse than the flu; it is more infectious; it is more fatal; it requires more hospitalizations in intensive care; it requires costlier, more advanced and more prolonged interventions.

      And, whether Mr Burns likes it or not, I call the Chinese virus the Chinese virus in exactly the same way, and for exactly the same reason, as I call a spade a spade. If Mr Burns is a Communist, that’s just too bad.

      • [snip. feel free to criticize the author, but this was just way over the top with pejoratives, including a few banned words.~ctm]

  25. “On the other hand, it is very likely that true cases of infection exceed reported cases, perhaps by 1-3 orders of magnitude. Until antibody testing becomes possible, we shall not know for sure.”

    I totally agree that we will not know for sure on the true cases until antibody testing becomes available. But the clues from two different sources imply the mortality rate is less than 1%.

    Diamond Princess: The death rate is less than 2% of the passengers but since the above 50 crowd is disproportionately represented the actual death in the US should be less than 1%

    This German study in one of the first towns infected. They randomly tested 1,000 people and determined 15% of the people had anti-bodies. They than calculated the case mortality rate in that town was only .37%.

    • The antibody test used in the German study is unreliable and tends to report false positives therefore generating a too low death rate.

      Death rate in Germany and South Korea is around 2%. Both have a good negative tested/total test ratio arguing for a low number of undetected cases.

      • Germany appears to be going out of their way to avoid calling a death as being caused by COVID-19.
        So they are not recording deaths the way most everyone else is.
        Are the only counting the ones where the patient was outwardly healthy when they became infected?

        • Getting information how deaths are counted in Germany is sparse. The RKI is not the most transparent institution and rightly criticized for that.

          Only thing that is certain is that at first even people dying of pneumonia who were not tested for SARS-CoV-2 before they died were not tested post mortem. Don’t know if this is still the policy though as testing really ramped up I would expect that people being hospitalized are tested now either way.

          As evidence is accumulating that SARS-CoV-2 can affect the heart and brain as well just counting pneunomias might be underestimating CFR so counting all positive tested patients in the ER if they are not dying because of a car accident etc. might be the honest thing to do.

          New York State has a good overview about comorbidities:

          https://covid19tracker.health.ny.gov/views/NYS-COVID19-Tracker/NYSDOHCOVID-19Tracker-Fatalities?%3Aembed=yes&%3Atoolbar=no&%3Atabs=n

          Seems a significant number of 10% dies without any comorbidities and also a significant number of people under 60y who have at least one.

    • Both of Lowell’s samples – a town in Germany and the Diamond Princess – are unreliable, and are not capable of generalization.

      But let us suppose that the death rate in the U.S. is about 1%. Then, assuming that everyone will eventually contract the infection, 3.3 million will die of it, and most of those deaths would occur this year in the absence of control measures.

      No responsible government would take the risk of allowing so many excess deaths to occur in so short a time.

      My own calculations, based on casting back the known number of deaths by three weeks, show that deaths will probably constitute only 0.34% of cases of infection in the U.S.A., but even that would mean 1.1 million deaths.

      Better to take some elementary and temporary precautions, so as to buy some time to find out which pre-existing or new medications are efficacious.

  26. I found out something interesting in my researches today. I set out to answer the question: Why are the “hot spots” in the Netherlands, with the most (hospitalized) COVID cases per population, mostly in rural areas in the south-east part of the country, that I’ve never heard of? Even though I lived there for three years, albeit 40 years ago? I chose the Netherlands, partly because I know the country and can still read the language, and also because their data is both comprehensive and believable.

    What I found was that the 10 municipalities which have been hardest hit in proportion to population (175 to 300+ hospital cases per 100,000 inhabitants) have something in common. They are in the Catholic areas of the country (except Oudewater, which has a long history of tolerance towards Catholics), and several of them are renowned for their Carnival festivities. Moreover, they’re not so far away from Tilburg, where the first confirmed case of the virus in the Netherlands was reported on February 27th. The Carnival week-end was February 28th/29th. Confirmed cases of the virus multiplied by 8 or so between March 4th and 9th, by which time a third of those cases were in the Noord-Brabant province, which includes Tilburg.

    In contrast, in the highly populated areas, the cases per population are far lower. I looked at the statistics for the 15 most densely populated municipalities in the country, including Amsterdam. They ranged from 20.3 per 100,000 in Krimpen aan den Ijssel (coincidentally, where I lived when I was there) to 43.2 in neighbouring Capelle aan den Ijssel. Odd! Two places on opposite sides of a river, connected by a short bridge, with such different infection rates? And in both cases, a lot of their working residents do their work in Rotterdam? Mmmm… Capelle, 40 years ago at least, was mostly blocks of high-rise flats, each surrounded by greenery. Krimpen, while closely packed, was low-rise; mainly conventional two-story houses.

    What this suggests to me is that the virus spreads most rapidly when there are a lot of people in close proximity, as at Carnival and in high-rise blocks. It isn’t how far you keep away from the next person that matters; it’s how far you keep away from crowds. And that may provide a reason why the Austrians have done so well, relatively, in this epidemic. When they had a major problem with patients who had been to Ischgl, they quarantined the whole town. The Icelanders also took this approach, banning large public assemblies, but only putting individuals into lockdown in one small area.

    Am I on right lines, or am I way off base?

    • “Catholic”
      Think: going to church every Sunday
      Stand in line for Holy Communion
      Very close to the priest who gives you the host which you put in your mouth
      And you and he will breathe on each other – he’d be a good source of infection.
      Just a speculation – I have no idea how religiously these people take their obligations for weekly mass.

        • I think this spread of the epidemic was caused by Carnival, not by singing in church. Carnival in the southern Netherlands is a giant series of street parties.

    • Mr Lock is quite correct that any new and infectious pathogen, to which there is no general immunity, and to which everyone is therefore susceptible, will spread most rapidly where the mean person-to-person contact rate is highest. Large gatherings and tightly-packed, high-rise cities are of course examples of factors that greatly increase the person-to-person contact rate and therefore the rate at which infections will spread.

      And, of course, his observation also illustrates why lockdowns work. They reduce the mean person-to-person contact rate – and do so by 85 to 95%, according to the anonymized cellphone data available to HM Government.

      • Yes, my reading of the conditions under which this virus spreads most effectively are:

        (1) large public gatherings,
        (2) high-density housing (e.g. large blocks of high-rise flats),
        (3) public transport.

        I find it interesting that the UN’s WHO, on grounds supposedly of protecting us against harmful health impacts from air pollution, recommends “prioritizing rapid urban transit”, “rail interurban freight and passenger travel” and “making cities more green and compact.” In the name of protecting our health from pollution, they want to force us all into compact cities, that are perfect breeding grounds for infectious diseases! Hasn’t the WHO shot itself in the foot here?

        As to lockdowns: Large public gatherings have been banned almost everywhere affected, even in Iceland – and in my view, rightly so. And that should continue until the virus is all but gone from each country. But other aspects of the lockdowns are more dubious, for example forcing prolonged closure of “non-essential” shops in smaller towns. And what is deemed “essential” is, ultimately, a rather subjective choice. The question is, do these aspects of the lockdowns “work” (whatever that means), or will they cause more damage in the long run than they save in the short run?

  27. Some commenters are still trying to maintain, in the teeth of the evidence, that the Chinese virus is no worse than the annual flu, and that no excess deaths compared with the same week in previous years are occurring or will occur.

    Well, I’m not among them. I don’t know anything about epidemiology. And, being a sickly old man, I’m taking a lot of precautions.

    Still, you have to wonder. Suppose, for example, that a couple of infected people arrived in the U.S. on January 3rd.

    And suppose that infections thereupon doubled every 3 days through February 12th, to make 20,000 infections by that date.

    And further suppose that infections thereupon doubled every 3.65 days to make 18,488,000 infections by March 19th.

    If it takes an average of 22 days between infection and death, that would mean that the 20 deaths we saw by March 5th and the 18,488 we saw by April 10th would imply an infection fatality rate of only 0.1%

    Yes, yes, I know I’m whistling past the graveyard. But it does seem to me there’s a lot we don’t know.

    • There is an awful lot we do not know, however, we do know a certain percentage of people are coming down with a nasty form of viral pneumonia which is rather distinctive.
      And these people, for whatever reason, began to fill ER’s at a certain point in time.
      Is it reasonable to suppose that none of those severe cases in about the same proportion occurred until suddenly in the beginning of March? First a trickle, and then a stream , and then a flood.
      Not everywhere, just some places.
      There are people infected who spread it all over the country in a short time, and apparently did so without being outwardly sick, so obviously a lot of people have had it for some time prior to when it became evident it was here and spreading.
      And this virus does have an unusual pattern of illness and what seems to be an unheard of interval between exposure and when people wind up on life support in an ER…for some people.
      Not for others
      Some people are known to get infected and be dead about 5 to 10 days after showing symptoms.
      Including some people not especially old or in poor health.
      It seems reasonable that since these patterns have been documented in diverse locations, that it is a characteristic of the disease the virus causes, and can anyone think of one single possible way this pattern was absent for a few months and then suddenly appeared?
      It could be that people in ER’s the hotspots of first infection in several locations around the country did not notice anything, or make note of a strange severe pneumonia that dragged out for many weeks instead of the typical several days…but then we have to account for the fact that the whole world was aware of what was happening in China by Late January, and doctors in ER’s knew about it before that.

      • “but then we have to account for the fact that the whole world was aware of what was happening in China by Late January, and doctors in ER’s knew about it before that.”

        But could they already test for it? Have really all been aware of the symptoms to detect it and distinguish it form other pneumonias before mid of February? I doubt it. Might just have been around a lot time longer before ERs were filled. The lag phase is just so dangerous in spreading and underestimating it.

        • If 20,000 people had it February 12th, what we know about the number of people who get very sick very quickly, and very sick within two to three weeks…it does not appear likely.
          There probably were some cases that showed up in hospitals that were not enough to alert anyone, but ER’s look for clusters of a unusual disease no matter what and no matter when.
          An odd on here and there…no, easy to miss.
          But five in one area in a week and every alarm in an ER doctors head would explode.
          Even if only 2% of people are getting sick enough to go for help at a hospital (the rate is higher than that), and one tenth of them dying, by 20,000 patients that is 400 people. Some of whom would have been sick weeks earlier that Feb 12th.

          I do not dispute million of people by mid to late March.
          I said as much back then, but no one seemed to believe me.

          Here it is, On march 18th.
          Mosher had guessed 60,000 to 100,000 in a post on teh 17th.
          I responded the next day that the number was very likely well over a million:
          Nick sez
          “My guess is that the cases in the US, if it were somehow possible to find out how many people have been exposed and either never got sick, had mild illness and recovered, or got very sick but thought they had the flu…etc…that total cases in well over a million.
          The state of New York is estimating several tens of thousands in that state alone.
          I am figuring it very simply: People all over the entire country who have no known contact with anyone who is infected are turning up with the disease.
          All socioeconomic strata, all sorts of occupations, just a broad cross section, and spread all the way out.
          So there are chains of transmission occurring…as of weeks ago…in every part of the US, and it is a big place.”

          And a lot of other stuff around then that a lot of people only got around to in the past week or two.
          I have been way out in front of this.
          I do not normally say things like that, but people are jumping on me and they are saying things I said for back in February.
          Not you Ron. You and a bunch of others were right there with me back then as well.
          Mosher wants to pretend he was the only one who knew what was going on yesterday, last week, last month, February.

          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/17/an-effective-treatment-for-coronavirus-covid-19-has-been-found-in-a-common-anti-malarial-drug/#comment-2941125

          • Nicholas, I for one don’t think your theory – that a lot more people have had the illness than the experts reckon – has been disproved. I myself had an illness with symptoms similar to a very mild coronavirus attack (5 day fluey cold, then 1 day remission, then a nasty but luckily short-lived cough), starting on January 30th, the very day that the first confirmed case was found in the UK (someone from China).

            Yet even by the end of February, there were only 23 confirmed cases in the UK, and transmission from person to person within the UK was only established as a fact by 28th February. It wasn’t until early March that the UK government even seemed to wake up to there being a real problem. The official “risk level” wasn’t raised from Moderate to High until 12th March. That’s 4-6 weeks in which the virus may have been spreading, without being picked up for what it was. If most people who got it didn’t get sick at all, or had a mild flu-like illness and didn’t bother to report it (like me), and those who did get sick and report it were diagnosed as having something else, that could have set going huge chains of infection all over the country. And the same could have happened anywhere else, including the US.

          • “If 20,000 people had it February 12th, what we know about the number of people who get very sick very quickly, and very sick within two to three weeks…it does not appear likely.”

            My point was that even if physicians knew about the symptoms they may not had the possibility to check for SARS-CoV-2 because they didn’t have tests available before mid of February.

            I would also not be surprised if most clinicians didn’t know much about COVID-19 before end of January. The so called patient zero in Italy was just tested by chance by his doctor when his symptoms got worse. But he was never in China.

            All the reported cases on worldometer are after that time though it is impossible that there were no cases before that.

          • I did not discount the possibility, just my opinion that it is unlikely that this many might have been overlooked.
            Not impossible.
            ER physicians are constantly on the alert for clusters of such things as viral pneumonia.
            I would have to go back and check the timeline, but I think by that point in time everyone was aware that there was a new virus causing huge problems with viral pneumonia in China.
            However, I have also been very vocal in pointing out that while the CDC was reassuring everyone, they were actually doing, apparently, nothing at all in terms of surveillance or testing, when it might have mattered.
            So…yeah…who knows.
            But hospitals keep records…at some point there will be plenty of time and people will go back and comb through blood tests and hospital records and such.
            Anyone that sick gets blood drawn repeatedly and sent to labs, who are supposed to save some of it for retesting if there is a problem.
            It is often the case after a crisis that someone with all the time in the world will be able to construct a timeline and a history that reveals details no one knew about at the time.

          • Anyway, what it amounts to is the number may have been smaller at first, and it grew more rapidly. Steeper infection curve, such that by the time enough people had been infected that many of them were in the group that became very ill, it was widespread.
            Another possibility is that it was spreading among a demographic known to have a very low chance of getting a severe case…like younger people.
            If it was burning through younger people, they might have been passing it around for a nice long time before it got to a large number of older people who then, a few weeks later, started progressing to the third and more severe stage.
            My recollection is that one of the first known cases of community transmission was a teenager who felt really sick, went to a couple of urgent care clinics, was sent home after being tested, and by the time the results came back several days later, he was feeling better and sitting in a classroom. They wisked him out of there and closed the school for disinfection.
            Around that time, also in Washington state, a cluster that had been the subject of numerous paramedic calls at a nursing home was recognized after many days of a whole bunch of paramedics visiting the home.
            So by then it is very likely a whole huge amount of people had gotten it from those people, and no one even knew or knows now how it got to that nursing home or that teen.
            And still the CDC was discounting asymptomatic transmission, after it was literally impossible for there to be any other explanation.
            A few days after that, someone in that area had gotten on a cruise ship, which was now off the coast of California with a rapidly spreading chain of transmission.
            I think it it is likely there are populations of people, like college kids and high school kids, that have a lot of close contact within their peer group, but not so much with older people…so it took longer than a homogeneous mix of average population demographics would suggest it would take for a large number of old people to get it…

        • In response to Ron, the Chinese knew of their virus as early as November 2019. By mid-December they knew it could transmit from person to person, but they first tried to conceal the infection and then tried to lie to the effect that it could not transmit from person to person, and they leaned upon their wholly-owned subsidiary the World Death Organization to disseminate their lie, which it faithfully did for several days before eventually being persuaded that it would retain no remaining shred of credibility if it continued to act as China’s poodle.

          • I don’t know what the Chinese really knew or were suspecting at which time point exactly. That might be a topic for intelligence agencies.

            There are just doubts from my side how much clinicians in Europe and the US were already prepared by end of January of what was coming and how to detect it.

    • In response to Mr Born, we now have data from the intensive-care monitoring agency in the UK, which shows that the Chinese virus is more infectious than your average flu or other respiratory infection, and is more fatal, and requires more intensive-care references, and requires costlier and more advanced and more prolonged intensive care, and with a far less chance of success. We also have evidence of a surge in excess deaths for week 14 of this year from the European mortality monitoring agency, which attributes the surge to the Chinese virus.

      It is true that we do not yet know the case fatality rate. However, the Imperial College modeling concluded that, this year alone,there would be 7 billion infected in the absence of control measures, and 40 million deaths, implying a case fatality rate of approaching 0.6%. My own calculations, based on casting back deaths by 21 days and then applying the known case growth rate forward, indicate that in the United States the case fatality rate would be approximately 0.34%. Even if it were only 0.1%, there would be 331,000 deaths from the Chinese virus this year in the absence of control measures.

      However, since at this early stage we do not know which of these figures is correct, governments could not take the risk that my estimate rather than that of Mr Born might prove correct.

      In the early stages of a pandemic, the usual approach is to calculate a first estimate of the case fatality rate from the closed cases: i.e., CFR = deaths / (deaths + recovereds). However, governments – which are not numerate – have taken insufficient care to update their numbers of recovereds. Therefore, in the world excluding China and occupied Tibet, where the numbers are entirely unreliable, the case fatality rate on the closed-cases basis is currently running at 24%.

      Perhaps the simplest thing that governments can do that they are not at present doing is to update their count of those who have recovered. That would at least give us an estimate of the case fatality rate among those cases that tend to be more serious and have, therefore, come to governments’ attention even before widespread testing was introduced.

      • CFR of Germany and Austria is closing on a value of ~5% according to worldometer data. Both countries are counting closed cases. That would be bad if true.

        I still hope the real CFR would be close to 2% as that is what is the estimate for South Korea using deaths/total cases. Undetected rate in South Korea has to be lower than 10% otherwise containment policy would not work. All other CFRs are probably too high cause of undetected cases but could also be higher than the 2% from South Korea due to overwhelmed health care systems (Italy, France, Spain).

  28. “…yesterday marked the highest number of new deaths in the United States reported yet: 1,941, almost 50 percent higher than the previous peak, which came just on Saturday. In New York, the epicenter, 800 patients died yesterday of COVID-19, twice as many as on any day before, and now, in addition to those deaths registered by hospitals, 200 New Yorkers are dying at home each day, uncounted in the official statistics, perhaps ten times as many as died during a typical day before the pandemic arrived.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/best-case-scenario-for-coronavirus-is-that-it-s-more-infectious-than-we-think/ar-BB12qWLs?ocid=msedgntp

  29. Once again: the reported cases mainly tell you how many tests and being done and what kind. The reported death stats are skewed by the method of counting a Covid-19 death. Your analysis is based on faulty data.

    • Mr Jones is of course correct that the data are inadequate. But science starts with the data that are available and tries to improve their reliability. In the meantime, while bearing in mind that the data are incomplete and defective, it must try to draw what conclusions it can.

      What the graphs in these postings show is that despite the increase in testing the compound rate of increase in reported cases is declining. That is most encouraging, for it holds out hope that lockdowns can be progressively and carefully phased out.

  30. All the talk about the models and deaths predictions going up and down is just meaningless. How any of the people doing the models having an agenda even more so.

    Only number that is important is the real CFR with a not overwhelmed health care systems which might be anywhere between 0.5-5%. That number determines how many will die if one goes down the path of herd immunity. They will die!
    So just do the math, at least 60% with antibodies for herd immunity means 984k-9.84M will die in the US without a vaccine or a very rigid tracing and isolation regime that eradicates the virus. Though then you still need border control that no second wave arises.

    All the flatten the curve nonsense is just about not overwhelming the health care system and not increasing the CFR by lack of treatment. It’s not about preventing any of the deaths of the real CFR of SARS-CoV-2 if you aim for herd immunity. It just saves the lives of the people who would die because of an overwhelmed system. The rest determined by the real CFR will die if infected anyway.

    The only way to prevent deaths is to eradicate the virus from the population or keep the numbers low until we can vaccinate the population sufficiently to reach herd immunity.

    That’s how bad it is.

  31. Presonally I set aside anything out of China and look at the rest of the world. Its a trust thing.

    Is it possible to find out what is happening re Covid in the US outside of NYC? how are things going for the the other 280 million-ish people?

  32. Christopher. I share many concerns as you. However, given the differences in calculating mortality rates, the uncertainties in numbers infected, the uncertainty in tests results especially viral loads, reporting requirements (deaths with Covid 19 Virus vs deaths because of Covid 19 virus) etc, the only way that we can assess the impact of the Covid 19 virus at present is to examine the deaths by all causes surveillance weekly reports. Having just about emerged from the influenza season when simultaneously coupled with deaths because of Covid 19 there should be a clearly defined peak and possibly a double peak as in the Winter of 2017/18 well in excess of most previous years. However, that is not apparent at present and last weeks results appear to show the beginnings of a decline having reached a peak lower than last Winter and well below that of the Winter of 2016/17. This is difficult to reconcile with your picture of massive increases in mortality through Covid 19 plus Influenza which is unlikely to have just disappeared this Winter. Do you have any thoughts on this matter? At present it seems impossible to obtain mortality rates for influenza this season as all is focussed on Covid 19. Influenza seems to have been forgotten about.

    • Mr Harrison raises a fair question, to which one answer will be found at the website of the European mortality monitoring agency, Euromomo, which shows a severe excess all-causes death rate in several European countries and specifically attributes it to the Chinese virus.

      • Christopher. I had seen last week’s surveillance figures for the UK and did not observe any noticeable increase as I would have expected but this week the picture was, sadly, completely different. Why the sudden and desperate increase this last week is puzzling but undoubtedly trustworthy. Thank you for your response, I was not expecting one but you have impressed me with the manner in which you have attempted to respond to all comments and particularly with the patience you have shown in your responses to those which one would be forgiven for thinking as not being worthy of a civil reply.

  33. What exactly is compound daily growth rate? I understand compound interest, but this must be something different, no?

    • A bank might give you a certain interest rate but only put it back into your account yearly (or some other interval). But with a true exponential growth rate, the interest is put back in immediately. “compound daily” is how we look at the published numbers. Close enough.

    • In response to Tom, here is how cumulative cases would increase daily if there were 1000 cases on March 14 and the daily compound growth rate is, as it was up to that date in the world outside China, 20%, and if no control measures had been introduced it would have continued at that rate, thus:

      March 15 1200 cases; March 16 1440 cases; March 17 1728 cases; March 18 2074 cases; March 19 2488 cases; March 20 2986 cases; March 21 3583 cases; and so on.

      To obtain the mean daily weekly-smoothed growth rate, which is what is shown in the graphs, take the cases on day 1 and then 7 days later, divide the latter by the former and take the seventh root.

      To get the mean daily case growth rate over the entire week from March 14 to March 21, just

  34. “Debt eventually gets ‘inflated away’ nowadays … I don’t think there is much worry. My opinion.”

    Be careful what you wish for. High inflation is an insidious disease. I lived and worked through it in the 1970’s – 80’s. It degrades the basis fabric of society

    M

  35. I live in Pattaya in Thailand. For the last couple of years, me and my wife would go for a walk in the mornings along the beach and back – about 4 miles/6.6 km give or take. On the way we would be literally fighting through countless hordes of Chinese tourists. This continued until the end of January when my wife decided it might be wise to “social distance”ourselves. The tens of thousands of Chinese tourists continued to throng in and out of Thailand until after Chinese New Year in February.

    December through February is Pattaya’s busiest time of year and hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world visit. All through this time people from all over the world intermingled with the Chinese tourists and then flew back to their respective countries and their respective homes.

    One of my best friends thinks he had CV-19 in January. He says he knows a lot of people who also think they had it. In late January one Thai person died and the death was attributed to CV-19. (He was also suffering from Dengue Fever – which nearly took me out in August 2012.)

    The current case number in Thailand is 2518 of which a total of 35 have died. And we know that the disease has been here since at least late January. The daily case numbers have peaked and appear to be falling – a max of 188 now down to 45 yesterday. Now – “we can’t believe the numbers” seems to be the cry. OK – maybe not. But the bodies are not piling up in the streets and the hospitals are coping fine. There is no sign of anything untoward happening here. The country is all but locked down and the daily death rate on the roads has dropped dramatically from the usual 50 or so. More people have not died here every day because of the lockdown than the total of deaths so far from CV-19.

    I can think of a couple of reasons why Thailand hasn’t been hit. The people may be generally mroe resistant to these kind of things than we pampered Westerners – and those people who would have been susceptible to CV-19 in their older years have already died of something else first.

    I left Thailand to work offshore Myanmar on 18th March. I got back onshore Yangon on the 5th April. I am stuck here until who knows when.

    • “The country is all but locked down and the daily death rate on the roads has dropped dramatically from the usual 50 or so. ”

      I have been pointing out that this is surely the case every place there is a lockdown.
      And work place accidents are several times the auto deaths every year in the US…all accidents are 5-6 times as many per year.

    • Today’s figures have just been release for Thailand. The decrease in case numbers continues with 33 new cases to give a total of 2551 and 3 more deaths bringing the total to 38. This after the virus being here for 3 months already.

      Lockdowns here only started in response to the increasing panic in the west about 3 weeks ago. The peak in daily cases here was reached on around 30th March.

    • word has it that early on Covid deaths in Thailand were being reported as Pneumonia deaths.

      in any case, Thailand is up there on my choices of where to live

  36. Well, I have waited over 24 hours, and exactly no one has said anything about Remdesivir except exactly one lukewarm reply to my post last night. (Maybe Greg is not a complete numbskull after all, just way too hardheaded and rude on this issue)
    This changes everything.
    The worst off patients now have a small chance of dying. 18% If confirmed. High confidence.
    The pretty badly off patients have about a 4-5% chance of dying. If confirmed. High confidence.
    Patients not on oxygen or mechanical ventilation will likely have zero chance of dying. If confirmed. High confidence.
    This is the game changer.
    There is zero evidence chloroquine or HCQ has allowed anyone on life support to be extubated and go home.
    Now those people have about an 18% chance, if confirmed.
    It does need confirmation, but this was a careful and detailed look at the first people who took it when there was nothing else…perhaps the sickest of the sick at that time.
    I do not want to be disparaging, but it is obvious almost no one, possibly no one, commenting here has any idea how to read the results of a drug trial.
    No adverse events that were attributable to the drug.
    The 8 people lost to follow up may have simply recovered and felt no need to go back to the hospital that treated them.
    If confirmed, and there is everything to be hopeful for here…even if the results are only half as good…the odds of dying with this disease just went down by about an order of magnitude at least.
    And that is average of all stages.
    If and when approved, I do not see any reason why anyone would need to be let get to an end stage where the odds are only 18% and they are on a life support machine. If supplies can be stretched. The trial looking at 5 days vs 10 days is going to be a huge one…twice as many courses of treatment worth. Maybe 300,000 people, with another one to two million people’s worth by year end.
    But I expect it will be a lot more than that…everyone will start making it under license that has the facilities.
    Raw materials may be a bottleneck.

    Also…every hospital in the world should have ECMO.
    At present, US has a lot of them over 264 hospitals and adding more fast, some in B.C. Canada, a very few in England and Wales, zero in Ireland or Scotland, 40 hospitals in Germany, Poland has 47 machines, Sweden has 7 or more, Russia has a few hundred, Japan has over 1400, and China has at least 400.
    No one else seems to have a single one.

    You heard it from me first…this is huge, and only the supply will keep almost everyone newly infected from being cured quickly…although it is like there will be some non-responders, as there almost always is.
    Even if only half as good as these initial results a game changer.
    Il-6 drugs will save still more.
    No one wants to pour too much cold water on malaria drugs, because anything is possible.
    But if these drugs kill this virus, it is literally the only virus ever tested on, that it does that for.
    It treats some symptoms, but adverse events may outweigh any benefit.
    It is always good to be optimistic, but you have to have a real hard head to ignore all the hard scientific evidence that exists for this drug on other viruses, as well as 70 years of zero epidemiological data despite millions taking it.
    And many deaths in places using it, and rising sharply.
    And no trials halted by a DSMB for success.

    And recall the place that had the first trial that started this?
    Here is one of the doctors from there:
    “Chinese Doctors at Coronavirus Hub Say Evidence on Chloroquine Is Inconclusive”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-doctors-at-coronavirus-hub-cast-doubt-on-chloroquine-as-cure-11586448660

    Pile on with the insults and rock throwing. Water off a ducks back to me.

    • Remdesivir – not proven by “real clinical trials.” The one limited bit of testing says “some improvement.” Around $1,000 for the course. If you can get it, manufactured by only one company.

      Hydroxychloroquine – also not proven by “real clinical trials.” Several tests, Around $40 for the doses required (that is for the brand name formulations, generic is far cheaper). Add azithromycin and zinc supplements, less than $100 per patient. All widely available.

      And, once again – ChiCom source = 0.000001% veracity.

      • Writing Observer,
        Wrong, fake news.
        It is experimental.
        The company that makes it is giving away all 1.5 million does now in existence or in production.
        Typically clinical trial participants also get paid.
        But IDK about this one…it depends on the testing site I think.

        No remdesivir has ever been sold for any price.
        They have not priced it.
        What makes you think there is any price on it?
        And while they are giving away the entire world’s supply in existence, they are spending billions and billions of dollars to give it away while providing care to every participant.
        Stop spreading fake news, eh?
        People are dying.
        Do you not want them to get a free drug that may well save their life?

        BTW…
        Are the companies giving away the malaria drugs?

    • “Also…every hospital in the world should have ECMO.
      At present, US has a lot of them over 264 hospitals and adding more fast, some in B.C. Canada, a very few in England and Wales, zero in Ireland or Scotland, 40 hospitals in Germany, Poland has 47 machines, Sweden has 7 or more, Russia has a few hundred, Japan has over 1400, and China has at least 400.
      No one else seems to have a single one.”

      China used ECMO with good results I was told.

      shocked not to hear more about it

      • As far as I can tell, I am the first person to say a single word about it on this blog.
        I am sure someone can let me know if I overlooked someone else mentioning it.

      • Steven,
        The story of the second US doctor to catch COVID-19 while on the job.
        Includes treatment with malaria drug, failed, an IL-6 blocker and high dose vitamin C, some effect but he was still on life support many days after these treatment, and how an ECMO machine may have been what saved his life, by giving him enough time to overcome the infection, and the cytokine storm-like stage, and begin to recover.
        He is still wondering if he will regain normal cognitive function.
        He was 45, healthy as a horse, 5 sick days in over 20 years, lifelong athlete…and this crap almost killed him despite the best of care and support, and several of the leading candidates for drug treatment.
        I doubt many can expect such a level of care and support, although it is true that there are many places where a random person can expect the same care as the King of Siam:
        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/he-was-a-doctor-who-never-got-sick-then-the-coronavirus-nearly-killed-him/ar-BB12zNAs?ocid=msedgntp

      • Moderation due to the k word:
        Steven,
        The story of the second US doctor to catch COVID-19 while on the job.
        Includes treatment with malaria drug, failed, an IL-6 blocker and high dose vitamin C, some effect but he was still on life support many days after these treatment, and how an ECMO machine may have been what saved his life, by giving him enough time to overcome the infection, and the cytokine storm-like stage, and begin to recover.
        He is still wondering if he will regain normal cognitive function.
        He was 45, healthy as a horse, 5 sick days in over 20 years, lifelong athlete…and this crap almost
        k !illed him despite the best of care and support, and several of the leading candidates for drug treatment.
        I doubt many can expect such a level of care and support, although it is true that there are many places where a random person can expect the same care as the King of Siam:
        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/he-was-a-doctor-who-never-got-sick-then-the-coronavirus-nearly-k!lled-him/ar-BB12zNAs?ocid=msedgntp

        If you use the link you will have to correct the ! in the k word.

    • Florida has been very upfront about keeping separate stats for different categories.
      People infected elsewhere while travelling, those who arrived with it, those who acquired it elsewhere then became symptomatic once they got here, or tested positive but not symptomatic.
      I think they also have Florida residents that are out of the state that have it.
      For example, no state wanted to include the repatriated cruise ship people in their states’ tally.

      • “Florida has been very upfront about keeping separate stats for different categories.”

        so when spring breakers returned to infect their states does Florida count them?

  37. Both read it and appreciated that you posted it. Showed up today under a LAT “turn off your adblocker, if you want to read our dismal assessment of it” paywall and smiled.

    Lot of qualifications and apologies as to deficiencies in the study, but it’s promising as to what might come from the larger ones.

    Consider yourself thanked, though belatedly.

    • Traditionally, compassionate use was for people who were very sick and not expected to survive.
      That was the case for the first people it was used on, but that has been gradually and then more generally relaxed over time since February.
      All US patients from the Japan cruise ship got remdesivir, but IDK if any of them are included in this data.
      Two China studies that were scheduled to be compete first week of April are vs placebo, and one had inclusion criteria to be patients in severe condition. One out of three only would get placebo, which is unusual but a good way to go IMO.
      The other in mild to moderate illness cases, and I think that is the one that compares five vs ten days of treatment.
      Considering the anecdotal reports of people who were about to die standing up and going home one day after first dose of remdesivir, it may be five days will do the trick for many and possibly all patients.
      The next step is combination therapies, although they will likely want to get approval before going out on a limb with combinations.
      But once approved, doctors are not constrained to use it alone.

  38. Covid-19 is very insidious. During the first five asymptomatic days, you can infect your interlocutors without your knowledge.
    Therefore, medical personnel should receive plasma with antibodies prophylactically. Especially the personle after the age of 50.

    • “The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, since the number of tests also increases exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to total tests either remains constant between 5% to 15% or increases only very slowly”

      • You are broadly correct, Richard. I’ve only been keeping tabs on numbers tested for a few days (because Worldometers doesn’t show you historical test numbers, meaning I have to collect them every day). I find that in the major affected countries in Europe the ratio of positive tests to all tests since the start of the epidemic is mostly increasing, but fairly slowly. Exceptions are Italy, Austria and Norway, which have been going down over the last few days; and Switzerland and Portugal look fairly stable.

        But the ratio does vary wildly from country to country. From 46% in Spain, France 39% (I don’t trust their figures…), Belgium 27%, Netherlands and UK 24%, Sweden 19%, down to Austria and Germany 10%, Denmark 9%, Norway and Iceland 5%.

        • (because Worldometers doesn’t show you historical test numbers, meaning I have to collect them every day)

          They removed the growth factor a few days back that was bubbling along since late Feb and illustrated no exponential growth.

  39. It seems that chloroquine cannot be taken prophylactically.
    Chloroquine should be administered no later than 6 days after the first symptoms. Once the lungs are already occupied, it may be ineffective.

    • Despite numerous claims to the contrary, there as yet is no scientific evidence it is particularly beneficial or therapeutic as a treatment for this disease.
      One thing that is clear from limited evidence, is that mostly there is hype, and advocates have exaggerated any possible effect enormously.
      Which by itself should be a red flag to anyone who is familiar with how, in the world of climate science for example, such advocates behave the the trustworthiness of their claims.
      Most medical professionals are notably circumspect when it comes to drug efficacy, let alone sweeping and grandiose claims of an uncertain nature.
      I fully expect that the malpractice attorneys in the US are going to be very busy for a long time before we have heard the last of this aspect.
      It is simply outside of the realm of the judicious practice of medicine to treat patients cavalierly, or to regard evidence of the safety and efficacy of a drug as beneath concern.
      Anything less than medically sound best practices are considered malpractice here.

  40. The weather will not help in the fight against the virus in the US, because the wave of frosty air from Canada will fall far south of the US.

  41. Deadly coronavirus comes in three variants, researchers find
    Types A, B and C are all derived from the pathogen first found in bats but have evolved in different ways, according to a report by British and German geneticists
    Findings show the virus has become well adapted to human transmission and mutates as it spreads, Chinese epidemiologist says.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3079491/deadly-coronavirus-comes-three-variants-researchers-find

    • From 0 to 24:00 on April 11, 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 99 newly diagnosed cases, of which 97 were imported cases and 2 were local cases (2 cases in Heilongjiang); none New death cases; 49 new suspected cases, all imported cases (43 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Heilongjiang, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, and 1 case in Jilin).

  42. To the surprise of the scientists, the T cell became a prey to the coronavirus in their experiment. They found a unique structure in the virus’s spike protein that appeared to have triggered the fusion of a viral envelope and cell membrane when they came into contact.
    The virus’s genes then entered the T cell and took it hostage, disabling its function of protecting humans.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3079443/coronavirus-could-target-immune-system-targeting-protective

  43. With no internationally consistent method for recording cause of death, numbers collated on various statistical websites are worthless:

    ‘…where massive screening has been performed in the whole population (eg, in South Korea and Switzerland), overall case fatality rates of less than 1% have been reported, because the denominator included many mild or asymptomatic cases.’

    ‘in areas with high infection rates, patients might be admitted to the ICU with, for example, severe trauma or acute brain injury, test positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the ICU stay, and eventually die because of the initial injury; these deaths will still be attributed to COVID-19 and included in the statistics. Similarly, some patients might have SARS-CoV-2 infection, but the actual contribution of the virus to the patient’s death might be minimal. For example, in a patient with metastatic cancer or terminal organ failure, is the viral infection or the patient’s underlying condition the cause of death? The actual role of SARS-CoV-2 infection in such deaths is particularly difficult to evaluate in countries where only one cause can be reported on a death certificate.’

    ‘Global numbers of deaths and case fatality rates provide only crude information.’

    Understanding pathways to death in patients with COVID-19
    The Lancet April 06, 2020

    Reform of the NHS is urgently required (in a good way) to include the setting up of a fully independent National Health Authority similar to that of Sweden.

    Complete reform of the World Health Organisation seems unlikely so WHO should have its funding removed, circumvented by a G20 international health committee as proposed by the house of commons foreign affairs committee.

  44. News about Wuhan coronavirus, some good some not so much.

    South Korea reports that several patients tested negative returned positive. It is not clear what happened yet, but it doesn’t look good for the development of a vaccine or even collective immunity.
    https://nypost.com/2020/04/07/51-recovered-coronavirus-patients-test-positive-again-in-south-korea/

    Good news on treatment side from Italy instead (in Italian): autopsies showed that many patients died of multiple tromboembolism, not because respiratory failure. So trials of heparin as treatment is expected to start next week, while heparin is already used as preventative.
    https://www.adnkronos.com/fatti/cronaca/2020/04/11/coronavirus-drago-tante-morti-per-tromboembolie-aifa-studio-eparina_F9JxZ20oXBZ0nG74cpTfIK.html

    Now this can have important implications, because if the actual lethal mechanism is tromboembolism it means that a pharmacological treatment can drastically reduce the need for intubation and ventilation, which is the main health system bottleneck at this stage.

    • The increase in heme is the result of the breakdown of cells destroyed by the virus.

      “Numerous cases of acute and chronic pulmonary conditions are accompanied by extravasation of erythrocytes to the lower respiratory tract (lung hemorrhage). These pathological events are frequently associated with marked leukocyte influx and an increase in inflammatory markers [1–7]. In cases of moderate to intense hemolysis that succeed hemorrhagic events, the scavenging of free heme by blood-derived hemopexin or albumin collapses, leading to the accumulation of free heme in the extracellular milieu [3]. It has been previously reported that high expression of haptoglobin, the major protein responsible for the removal of free hemoglobin, reduces tissue injury associated to blood exposure [1]. Accordingly, the induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) can promote cytoprotective responses in some models of lung injury [8–10]. This stress-inducible enzyme controls the deleterious effect of large amounts of free heme, catabolizing this porfirin in biliverdin, carbon monoxide, and free iron, which are addressed, both directly and indirectly, as cytoprotective agents [10]. These observations support the hypothesis that free heme may be involved in the onset and/or amplification of pulmonary inflammatory responses.”
      https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2013/946878/

        • Under oxidative stress however, some hemoproteins, e.g. hemoglobin, can release their heme prosthetic groups.[34][35] The non-protein-bound (free) heme produced in this manner becomes highly cytotoxic, most probably due to the iron atom contained within its protoporphyrin IX ring, which can act as a Fenton’s reagent to catalyze in an unfettered manner the production of free radicals.[36] It catalyzes the oxidation and aggregation of protein, the formation of cytotoxic lipid peroxide via lipid peroxidation and damages DNA through oxidative stress. Due to its lipophilic properties, it impairs lipid bilayers in organelles such as mitochondria and nuclei.[37] These properties of free heme can sensitize a variety of cell types to undergo programmed cell death in response to pro-inflammatory agonists, a deleterious effect that plays an important role in the pathogenesis of certain inflammatory diseases such as malaria[38] and sepsis.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heme

          • I must ask you to state your position in concise terms, in clear relation to what I wrote in the first place.

            Because long and very technical excerpts without any explanation only add to the background noise.

    • I can think of a possibility that is as yet compatible with what has been regarded to be the case.
      It is related to the extended length of time that patients with this form of viral pneumonia are spending with the condition and awaiting resolution.
      It may be that the unusual thromboemoli are a result of being intubated and suffering from the pulmonary symptoms is outside what has previously been seen, and is simply a consequence of a prolonger period of pneumonia symptoms plus cytokine storm like damage.
      Treating with blood thinners may resolve such a question.
      If it simply a result of the length of time, blood thinners may not be expected to be of much help, but if indeed the blood thinners are associated with more rapid recovery and/or an improved odds of favorable outcome, this would tend to lend support to the idea there is some novel effect on the blood from this virus.

  45. Monckton of Brenchley

    You are quite right to highlight the danger of being a passivist with a virus that is ballpark 10 x more lethal than seasonal flu and maybe twice or more transmissible.

    The early stages of any transmissible disease looks exponential, but due to the pool of people catching it and thereby gaining immunity it can’t be. The proper form is an S shaped function, an example of which is the Gompertz curve.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gompertz_function

    An example of it being used in Wuhan is here.

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/2003.05447.pdf

    This has the benefit of being able to forward project the end state of the disease to a certain level of accuracy once the disease has passed up to the midpoint.

    Here’s the daily UK data that I’ve fitted using the Gompertz curve for both total cases (blue) and deaths (red)

    https://mynaturaldiary.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/92409964_1108197969533223_8757355732912832512_n.png

    And the daily changes for the same.

    https://mynaturaldiary.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/92172388_643299002897391_6165899881006235648_n.png

    This suggests we are about the peak of the UK total cases as the function begins to slow and reach its upper value.

    You can get the function in this software, which won’t cost an arm or a leg, and allows multiple nonlinear functions to be fit to data .

    https://www.curveexpert.net/products/curveexpert-professional/

  46. “Dr John Ioannidis from Stanford University estimates a death rate between 0.025% and 0.65%. Another study, from Japan, found the death rate to be between 0.04 and 0.12.”

  47. All of the arguments around Covid 19 will no doubt be aired exhaustively during the U.S. Presidential election and there will be nowhere to hide.

    The only numbers within OECD nations that actually bear international comparison will be overall death rates from all causes. Will they be noticeably higher this year or plumb normal compared to other years? I know where my money is.

    In Britain, Public Health England is responsible for infectious diseases and preparations for national medical emergencies. For that organisation, there is really is nowhere to hide. It cannot claim that hospital intensive care units likelihood of being overwhelmed was due to any shortage of funding since it has only been allocating 25% of its budget towards protection from infectious diseases over the previous two years.

    As for the coverage of the Covid 19 outbreak, the words of the German author and journalist on medical matters of over 25 years experience, Harald Wiesendanger, bear repetition:

    ‘How a profession that is supposed to control the powerful as an independent, critical, impartial Fourth Estate can succumb as quickly as lightning to the same collective hysteria as its audience, almost unanimously, and give itself over to court reporting, government propaganda and expert deification: It’s incomprehensible to me, it disgusts me, I’ve had enough of it, I dissociate myself from this unworthy performance with complete shame.’

  48. This remarkable, highly qualified doctor is pioneering a cure for the Wuhan Virus that really works.
    This is not some crazy fad – this is worth watching

  49. “Dr John Ioannidis from Stanford University estimates a death rate between 0.025% and 0.65%. Another study, from Japan, found the death rate to be between 0.04 and 0.12.”

    Ioannidis was merely guessing. He speculated that it might be 0.3% and that 1% of Americans might get the virus. From this he estimated that deaths from coronavirus might be 10,000. Just a few days later, and with the pandemic still in its infancy, his basic ball park figure was comfortably surpassed.

    He hasn’t got a clue.

  50. I have no clue about anything, but my point is this. I used to find Monckton of Brenchley’s overwrought wrestling with the english language to be an amusing rhetorical flourish. Now I find his garbageous word salad and intemperate profusional spoutings to be annoying as all heck. Put a sock in it, my Lord, or talk normal like everyone else. Now is not the time for this verbal wiggywaggimany.

  51. So in Sweden deaths are spiking at ~800 as of today and next 3 days or so then watch the peak go down sharply as it continues to rise in countries in lockdown for months! Many more will die over time because of this lockdown. The “flattening of the curve”will simply prolong death and misery. Well done Swedes for being smart!Looks like Denmark and Norway are agreeing as they are opening schools tomorrow like Sweden

  52. Re Sweden should be peaked at TOTAL deaths to date of 800 so NOT 800 per day! my bad. 800/150 = 5 per day average since Jan 2020.

    • You cannot compare Sweden with a population density of 25 people per sqaure Km to any other country unless they also have a similar density.
      The whole of Sweden almost fits in New York City whose density is 10,194 per square Km.
      Get that, 400 times higher and Manahatten is 25,846, 1000 times higher.
      Plus they did quite a bit of controlling without an actual lockdown, like
      Travel restrictions
      Cancelling meetings, seminars, festivals, sports meetings et.
      The majority of cases & deaths were in Stockholm.
      Why you think that Sweden’s 88 deaths per million is somehow better than the USAs 62 per million I don’t know?

  53. Boris Johnson has said he owes his life to the NHS staff treating him for coronavirus.

    In a statement released by No 10, the prime minister, 55, thanked medics at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where he continues to recover after spending three nights in intensive care.

    It comes as UK deaths from the virus are expected to pass 10,000 on Sunday.

    On Saturday, the UK recorded 917 new coronavirus deaths, taking total hospital deaths to 9,875.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52258980

    • Ren ,

      how many died “with” Corona vs “of|” Corona?

      for illustration-

      “Last week, Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont used the tragic and accidental death of a 6-week old infant to spin a narrative that newborns were susceptible to dying from Covid-19.

      In a press conference, he feigned upset by stating, “Probably the youngest person ever to die of COVID has died here in Connecticut,” This is a falsehood. Governor Lamont told a lie that caused not only inspired mass hysteria but also targeted the most vulnerable members of our society: mothers and infants.

      CALL FOR LAMONT’S RESIGNATION TODAY
      While the infant in question did indeed test positive from COVID-19, its death was not caused by the virus. Police officers that were called to the scene were informed that the infant tragically lost its life due to having been accidentally smothered by its caretaker. It was only after the infant had passed that the hospital tested and found that the child was also positive for COVID-19.

      In essence, it was not the virus that claimed this child’s life, but rather a tragic accident at home. Rather than include these details or any details that would have allowed mothers to rest easy, Governor Lamont saw an opportunity to shock and drive fear into the homes of families all over the world”

  54. I have a suspicion, based on anecdotal evidence, that the virus was present in the UK back in January and may have been present as far back as October 2019.
    The evidence I have are people presenting to an Urgent Care Centre with low grade fever (37.5< T < 38.0) and a persistent cough. The temperature would not raise any alarm bells as it doesn't score on NEWS2 or paediatric scoring tools. Other observations were within normal range.
    Those with comorbidities seemed to fair worse. This is not just my experience but several of my colleagues noticed the same trend. Of course any person who was particularly vulnerable and who died at that time from a respiratory disease would not and could not have been tested for Sars2 virus.

    • I also believe that.

      Figures for England & Wales from the Office of National Statistics of deaths this year from all causes (the only figures of any use) show that deaths are, currently, well down on the five year average (by about 10% representing 14,000 fewer deaths) although March was about 200 deaths over the five year average. For comparison, the first week in January was also 200 deaths over the five year average.

      This is all excellent news and the country should be delighted………

      • That should read ‘well down on 2018 figures (by about 10%……….’

        But only about 4,000 fewer deaths so far this year than the five previous years average.

  55. Since the primary vector was fast-shipped Chinese manufactured products shipped directly from China it’s no wonder there was a drastic downturn in the increase in cases.

    It *isn’t* “sars-2” by the way because SARS is Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome and you can get that from bear spray, caustic vapors, alcohol inhalation and medications… *and* Covid-19 is genetically dissimilar.

  56. Boris Johnson out of Hospital. There were some alarmists had him at deaths door a few days ago. Such a miracle that he is at home to enjoy Easter. What a sudden, speedy recovery!!

  57. Without ACE2 acting as a guardian to inactivate the ligands of B1, the lung environment is prone for local vascular leakage leading to angioedema. Angioedema is likely a feature already early in disease, and might explain the typical CT scans and the feeling of people that they drown. In some patients, this is followed by a clinical worsening of disease around day 9 due to the formation antibodies directed against the spike (S)-antigen of the corona-virus that binds to ACE2 that could contribute to disease by enhancement of local immune cell influx and proinflammatory cytokines leading to damage.
    https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202004.0023/v1

  58. There is still plenty of reason to remain alarmed about coronavirus. World-wide the epidemic continues to grow:
    http://www.gmxanalytics.com/pages/world.htm
    and most countries still show either a linear or exponential growth rate.
    http://www.gmxanalytics.com (click on any country). One of the few exceptions is Italy (and China if you believe their numbers),
    which is clearly and definitely subsiding.
    http://www.gmxanalytics.com/pages/Italy.htm
    This continues to be a worrisome epidemic.

  59. Japan, a densely packed country of 126 million people has had 108 deaths.

    We are still waiting to hear from the grandiosely titled, Lord , how many died “with” Corona as opposed to died “of” Corona.

    Alas! I fear we will wait in vain.

  60. Unfortunately, Mr MONKTON of BRENCHLEY and all agreeing with him misunderstand the whole point of why the lockdown is wrong:

    LIVING UNDER LOCKDOWN IS NOT LIVING. We are NOT living in order that we may live: HUH?

    The scarf lady (whose name I refuse to repeat) is already talking about how “they” know how we can combat the next pandemic as this lockdown has proven we can beat it. I have heard her twice, the most recent on Friday the 10th of April’s press conference with the president on covid-19. Give me a break!

    AK

  61. It has been said that the virus first appeared in the UK as early as September2019
    Transported by Chinese students returning to UK universities from summer holidays in their home country.
    This may explain the pre Xmas surge in fatalities and equally, the lower than average deaths experienced late Jan to mid March – Probably because the C19 virus led to the earlier pre Xmas demise of many terminally ill patients who ordinarily would have lived for a few more months as would have been the case if C19 were absent.
    But if the virus had continued in full strength from September, then surely the disparity between pre and post Xmas death rates would not be as pronounced as they are.
    For example, if the virus had maintained its strength from Sept to the present then the post Xmas death rate would still cause the demise of the less ill, leading to many more deaths post Xmas but not necessarily as high as the pre Xmas figures.
    The sharp dip over Xmas is due to under reporting over the holiday period.
    Now, come late March, the All Cause Mortality (ACM) as recorded by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is rising again.
    What could be the reason?
    Revisiting the situation we could say that C19 is weaker than alluded to in the scenario above.
    It started in September, killed of all the terminally ill sooner than would ordinarily be the case and faded.
    So,
    A] Virus began Sept and faded relatively quickly, then,
    B] End of February UK students, et al, returning from half term Skiing holiday In Northern Italy (or the Far East) introduced a new wave of C19 infections.
    Acknowledging that the worst case scenario is around 26 days from infection to death.
    Then surely it is logical? To assume? That the surge in death rate late March stems from infections contracted late February, as per B above rather than a continuation of the September 2019 wave.
    In which case we could say that infection waves may be short lived?
    I understand that may be too simplistic an opinion but if close to the mark it is good news.

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